Listening Intelligence Blog


Listen first. Sell me later!

Posted by Allison O'Brien on Aug 2, 2019 6:57:00 AM
Allison O'Brien

I just had one of those nightmare sales situations. Maybe you can relate? Once the rep started talking, he didn’t stop. He gave me every detail about his product and service without stopping to take a breath, never mind to ask me questions about what was most important to me. Even worse, what he was explaining had no relevance to what I really needed.  I was being “pitched” and up sold, and I didn’t like it. He didn’t get the sale.

When a sales professional is clearly trying to sell me something versus trying to understand my needs, I walk away frustrated and most likely won’t return their follow-up calls or emails.

On the flip side, anyone who has worked in sales has inadvertently made the same mistake. When we have a product sell, we know it so well that we often overload  prospects by explaining every detail, instead of asking questions to truly connect to the problem the buyer is trying to solve. The result is talking too much, not asking enough questions and listening too little. 

Sometimes less is more.

But how do we really know what to share and what to leave out? A good approach is to ask relevant questions during the discovery phase of the selling process to uncover the real problem that needs to be solved. Then you can speak directly to those critical issues and nothing more.

When you believe you are ready to "prescribe" solutions, that is exactly when you need to pull back and pause.  Ask clarifying questions to confirm you “know” what your prospect really needs and then listen. It’s your responsibility to make sure that you have truly heard, understand and can integrate what they’ve said into your sales presentation.

Can you imagine being on the receiving end of that kind of sales scenario?

How great would it feel if you knew that the salesperson truly understood your needs, spoke directly to them and could meet them? Would you buy? Chances are much higher that you will.

Alternatively, as a sales professional, how would it feel to leave a presentation or demo knowing you had listened to your client’s actual needs, forging a solid partnership going forward?

Sales starts with listening. Listening with a desire to learn. It takes awareness, discipline and tremendous effort, but the pay-off leads to a healthier sales pipeline and more closed deals!

Have you registered for the Sales Prospecting Summit hosted by Mailshake?


Our CEO, Dana Dupuis sat down with Sujan Patel, CEO at Mailshake for an informative discussion about how listening improves sales results. Register to watch the interview and interviews from other top speakers offering their advice to help you be more successful in selling! The summit kicks off on August 14th, 2019 and you can register for free HERE


Topics: Listening, Listening for Sales, Sales, B2B, Prospecting, Mailshake