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What Your Client Doesn’t Say May be the Key to Your Success


Photo Credit: John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Are you a good listener?

Do you like to ask a lot of questions? Are you curious about your prospects and clients? Can you hear what your client is trying to say but doesn’t know how to say? If you can answer all of these questions affirmatively, you are probably a top salesperson.  

If you are not quite there yet, don’t worry. With practice, you can develop the skills that, when used will take you to the top of your industry.

Listen Between the Lines

When you practice listening between the lines, picking up on what people are not saying, you’ll begin to perceive the fear your client is trying to avoid. That gives you the opening you need to ask questions that will gently guide them to the their challenge or problem. Questions give people permission to take baby steps toward what they fear. When you approach in a step-by-step manner, slowly and systematically through a series of questions, then you can solve your prospect or client’s problem and relieve their fears.

Offer Solutions not Products

People do not buy products or services. What they do buy are solutions to solve their problems. So it’s very important to diagnose before you prescribe and to engage before you inform.

I read an anonymous quote years ago that has stuck with me. “Questions break you open. Answers fill you up.” I keep this in mind when I meet anyone, but particularly when I am meeting with a new prospect. It helps me focus on getting to the root of the real problem the individual needs solved.

Appropriate questions break down the barriers that fear builds up and lead you to the heart of the concern. The answers people provide eventually fill you up with what is important. It fills your client up too, with trust in you.

A Guiding Process Built on Fact Finding Questions

If you haven’t already made this observation, you’ll soon discover that highly successful Sales Experts tend to be the ones asking the most questions. They have also developed processes that function smoothly and are consistent with their clients’ expectations.  This in turn leads to greater client satisfaction.

Take the following questions to heart. Ask yourself these questions every time you have a conversation with someone new. Self-study is the only way you will be able to develop the skills to help others by providing them with the solutions to their problems.

  1. What do you say when you make contact with people?
  2. What do you say in the first minutes of the process?
  3. What do you say when they object?

As you evaluate yourself and develop your personal process you’ll discover that every conversation is a listening and learning opportunity that can lead to your unbridled success.  Listening between the lines and asking the right questions after each of your clients’ answers is the key to great sales success. The true value of any product or service is how well it solves your client’s problems.

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