Becoming a successful salesperson may involve numerous talents, but at the very core lies the ability to communicate.
Think about it. To sell, you must not only demonstrate the value of your product, but you must also understand the need of the potential customer, therefore convincing them that your product can provide the solution.
To do all this, various communication skills come in to play:
The Ability to Actively Listen
Listening is a much-overlooked ability, especially in sales. In fact, poor salespeople – those who don’t last five minutes in the role – simply fail to listen to what their prospective audience is telling them: that is, what they need and why they need it. What is the problem that you must solve? Without listening to what your base has to say, you can never hope to sell to them.
In fact, listening is not enough. Or at least, passive listening is really not enough. ‘Active listening’, on the other hand, is the ability to truly process what is being said to you, and then adapting your answer accordingly. A few key elements to active listening are:
- Taking the time to listen.
- Making notes and giving ample time to process what you have heard.
- Asking follow-up questions to show your interest and to help in your deeper understanding.
- Adapting your sales line in response to what you have heard.
Develop Your Ability to Emphasise
It is easy to show superficial empathy – “I can totally see where you are coming from”. But prospective clients – at least the savvy ones – can separate the platitudes from real empathy.
Empathy means putting yourself in the shoes of the prospective client – understanding the problem or issue they face from their side. Only then can you truly understand what is needed from the product that will solve their problem or issue. If your product can do that, then you need to be able to connect to that. The core principles here are:
- Taking the time, and performing the necessary research, to see the problem from the opposite side of the table.
- Adapting your sales tactic to sell from that perspective. Don’t give the prospective client the benefits of the product that you think are great, focus on the solutions they need.
Make Sure You Can Write Well
This entry may come as a surprise to some people, while others will see the value here right away. Even if most of your selling is performed face-to-face, there comes a time in sales transactions where the written word plays a critical role. This could be as early as in the marketing literature, or in the correspondence that goes back and forward at various stages of the sales funnel.
Some have estimated that poor writing at work costs American businesses up to $400 billion every year. A significant proportion of that loss will be sustained through losing sales. How so? Because, quite simply, prospective customers do not trust either the salesperson personally or the product they represent if the written word is poor.
As just a simple example, poor quality written content on a website doubles bounce rate. That’s an incredible fact to start with. So, just by proofreading the language displayed on your company external-facing website will lead to more potential customers entering your sales funnel. The key considerations here are:
- Writing error-free text across business processes that make the right impression on prospective clients.
- Providing consistency in your business message.
- Using language that can prospective clients can identify with and can be persuaded by.
You may look at this as a significant investment, but it certainly need not be. For example, Linguix Business is a smart tool which provides an AI-powered grammar and spell-checking service but can also be set to provide consistency in the style and message of all the writing performed by your employees. Enjoy insightful statistics and data analysis to support your business in this mission, and even an array of expertly crafted templates to ensure great quality written communication from the very start. All available for as little as $10 per month per employee.
Be Concise and Efficient in Your Communication
Whether it is the value of your written or spoken word, the last thing a prospective customer wants to hear or see is streams upon streams of information that doesn’t tell them what they need in the most concise and efficient means possible.
Less is very often more, as they say. So, these key points here are:
- Provide the answer that is needed as succinctly as possible.
- Be personable and reasonable, but also be direct in your sales approach.
Being a good communicator is something that many people think they are. But are they really? Consider these four key communication elements, and see how you can achieve sales success with the correct approach to communication.