Listening well …Means seeing well
As if listening to the language a prospect uses (that might expose the way he sees the world) wasn’t enough, we have to pay attention to his body language too? But there’s good news … His way of seeing the world often gets confirmed by those physical signals.
Take the emotional thinker, who’ll often subconsciously touch his chest, or the center of his body to emphasize his feelings, or that ultra-rare gustatory thinker who might touch his nose or lips. But setting those kinds of pseudo-cues aside, we probably need to focus on the more obvious body language.
Take that person listening with arms folded across his chest. That posture clearly telegraphs resistance or disagreement to what’s being said. And that chin resting in the hand might just be saying, “Tell me more” and needs to be noted and then followed up on with more of whatever elicited it.
And it’s not just the hands that we need to watch. What of that wrinkled brow? It likely means some confusion, or at least a bit of questioning that probably requires more clarity on our part to make sure the point we’re making is sufficiently explained.
And don’t ignore wandering eyes that keep glancing away. They’re a pretty sure sign of lost interest that probably needs to be addressed with a change of approach.
Communications is an art and a science, but in sales it’s a requirement that we do it well. And that’s especially true when it comes to tuning in on what that person is communicating … verbally and physically.
Next up: Dealing with interruptions.
Delivering great / early) …Customer service!
We all know the value of great customer service, but when does that (or should that) begin? Maybe the answer is “as soon as we can deliver it” Let’s take a hypothetical situation where you’re making a cold call on a restaurant and unbelievably find that the machine is down and they’re frantic. Upon checking you learn that they’ve called the current supplier and left a message but have no idea of when help might arrive
And the lunch rush begins in an hour. Hmmmm.
Now the devilish character sitting on your shoulder probably says, “Offer to fix the machine, but only if they give you the business”. Now it’s possible that hardball idea artfully presented, might win. But even if it does, they’re pretty certain to suffer some buyers’ remorse over feeling that we held them hostage in a bad situation.
Of course, your better angel naturally counsels you to offer your help with no strings attached. You correctly worry that fixing the problem with no conditions might get you an attaboy and little else. Maybe the better alternative in somewhere in the middle. Let’s say we offer to fix the problem on the condition that after the dust settles, they’ll give us a fair shot at winning the business.
The bottom line: Great customer service begins when we’re given the chance to demonstrate it.