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2 Ears, 1 Mouth

Last updated November 5, 2013
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Why were we given 2 ears and one mouth? Because, we should listen twice as much as we talk.

What about you? Do you have the right proportions; all the time, some of the time and never in a sales presentation? I've been on the receiving end of sales presentations where I can't get a word in edgeways. Those making the pitch were going to make sure that they did their full pitch regardless of what I, the customer, needed or wanted.

Worse still is meeting someone at an event who just has to tell you everything regardless of whether you are interested or not.

A friend of mine uses a dating agency and when she goes out on a new date I call her mobile after 30 minutes to check she’s OK. She sometimes uses that call as an excuse to leave early – usually because the date just won’t stop talking about themselves!

Now I'm probably guilty of talking too much at times. My enthusiasm takes over; I'm on a roll, but the ‘glazed- over’ look on my recipient face at least brings me quickly back on track and issuing an apology too.

Whilst working with a client this week, they said that they think that the reason they don't get the best conversion rates on their sales is because they talk too much. They're so keen to share all of the great stuff that they do, they get carried away. So if you to suffer from upside down proportions of talking and listening try this.

1. Before your presentation meeting remind yourself what your objective is.

  • To discover your customers pain points
  • To understand how they purchase
  • To establish if you can help them or not

2. Prepare a few open questions designed to get the client talking about their business, the problems and the pain points.

3. At the meeting

  • Ask a question and then shut up, let the customer answer and don't interrupt. Then follow up with relevant and sensible questions not necessarily the next one on your list.
  • Reflect the pain points back to the customer to check you understand
  • Articulate the solution to their problem, don’t sell them what you want to sell.

4. Give the customer your full attention, be present, be authentic and be interested, but above all remember when to be quiet!

I know that you'll find out much more about the problems your client has and then you'll design a much better solution by listening more. You'll secure more sales and know when to walk away sooner if you can't help the customer.

Shirley Mansfield
Master Business Problem Solver

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