How to Have a Conversation
You will build a better business if you learn how to have a better conversation. Maybe the best thing you can do to increase your sales is to stop selling. Stop doing all the talking and start building a give and take conversation—a true dialogue.
Many sales people feel that when they finally have the prospect's ear that they need to bend it. They throw everything they've got up against the wall and hope that something will stick. They set themselves up for the prospect to simply tune them out, endure them and send them on their way.
Quit trying to impress the other guy and work on improving your conversations. When you engage the prospect and start a true conversation, you'll grow a relationship. When you grow a relationship, you have the building block to create a loyal customer.
Remember that a conversation is a two-way street. The objectives is that both you and your prospect learn more about each other, that there is an emotional connection that makes you both feel good, moved or fulfilled. It should improve your understanding of the prospects problem or challenge and it should sharpen each person's views.
Stop the pitch and ask meaningful questions that will get to the heart of the other person's concerns. Probe for understanding. Build pauses into every presentation to ask, probe and create dialogue.
Listen carefully to what the prospect is saying and demonstrate your listening by asking clarifying questions and making comments that show you are emphasizing and understanding their point of view. Share relevant examples and case histories.
Be passionate. Be emotional. Be authentic. Be a storyteller. Facts and analysis do not make great conversations. Ask about what the prospect is feeling and thinking.
Keep it on track. Don't be afraid to ask, "What's the most important issue in your world right now?" Ask for feedback on the direction the conversation is going.