Contributed by Gerhard Gschwandtner, Founder and CEO, Selling Power
Enter an office brimming with determined sales professionals. Bright and eager, they clamor to their cubicles ready to translate leads into customers.
Before they pick up their phones and skim fingers on keys, I’d like to dive into a deeper approach that carries more heft than a polished pitch. As a sales professional, you’re introducing them to a product that heals pain points in their business lives. Consider yourself a business psychoanalyst with empathy and direct listening as the pillars of your craft.
As with any relationship, the sales process is a co-creational and evocative effort. While you must be awash with resources and guides about successful selling, I do not wholly believe that there is a definite formula for success. Human behavior is variable. For a sales professional, you must listen to your prospects in order to strategically tailor your message and solution.
With listening as the base action, I’ve broken down the potential outcomes of three levels of integrative listening. Consider these the Olympics of Sales Connections where you table your personal ego and tap into your caring reflexes to heal the prospect’s pain points. With that mentality, you’ll forge authentic relationships that naturally translate into closed deals.
Bronze – Simple interpretation of facts that only allow a basic understanding of a prospect’s needs. Your results may vary and hinge upon luck.
Silver – Elevating past basic listening, you not only pay attention to the content, but to the emotional environment that the prospect projects. Pay attention to tone and word choice to season your judgment. In tapping into the emotional crevices, you’ll be better equipped in tailoring your response to influence the desired outcome.
Gold – At the peak of your craft, you weave intuition into a trifecta of detailed listening and emotional awareness. At this level, you pay equal attention to the prospect and to yourself. At a human level, how would you reasonably respond to a prospect’s ordeal? What do your instincts tell you about this case? Trust yourself and translate insights into your value.
This is how you leverage your opportunity to be authentic with your prospect.
In honing your craft, keep in mind that the world’s top sales professionals practice at the Gold level and enjoy an estimated 90% success rate. Aside from a boost in success probability, you’re overall career will benefit tremendously. By welcoming your thoughtful intuition, you can deftly uncover the mystery of sales success and rejection. Forget about sleepless nights: at the Gold level, you will easily recalibrate after every call and own your professional journey.