Ask, listen and shut the fuck up, harsh? Maybe a little bit, how about ask, listen and shut up, better? Ok good now shut up and listen, funny that I’m telling you to listen while I’m doing all the talking (or writing), anyways let's get into it. The more you listen when trying to sell the better you will perform. Sure there are times to talk (when they ask you a question) however your response should end in a question to put the focus back on them while you are gathering intelligence. When you are transitioning to the body of your presentation you can talk, however for now it's ask and listen.
A successful chat should be 90% of the other person talking and the other 10% from your end, regardless of if it’s a prospect that you’re talking to or a new date that you’re on. The more the person talks, the more you can flush out their objections and real reasons for resistance. Why they want what they want or more likely why they don't want it (people love to complain). When the time is right you can answer that objection. I cannot tell you how many times I made the assumption that the issue was price, only to find out it was time, or convenience. If you don't ask, you will never know, and assuming is a death wish. When you have that urge to make an assumption take a moment and ask a question like the few examples below.
What's holding you back?
What are some of your concerns?
Why do you feel this will not benefit you?
Sales tends to be one the hardest part of any business and once you start to master it, any job or business can be yours. The sales force makes or breaks a company, not the product or the benefits. There's no cutting around it, sales can be a frustrating endeavor however your upside is unlimited in most cases. You have the millionaire cheapskates, or the person with $1 to their name expecting to turn it into a million yet they want you to do all the work for free and say thank you to boot. When you encounter the harder prospects (fun fact 99% are hard). You want to avoid arguing at all costs (I know easier said than done).
This is what you want to do with all your energy, make your sole and all encompassing focus on the other person and what they have to say. Remember your job is to ask and listen, and by listen we mean lisstttttteeeeeeeeennnnnn. In this mode of real active listening, you will find their true objections. You will make them feel safe and the voice in their head will begin to quieten down. Human interactions are based saround 9% of the words used while the rest comes from how we hear them and the person's body language. Given that most of your conversations are done online, it is very easy for the other side to misread your response, and this is something we’ve all experienced. When you are actively listening and a prospect has just sent a lengthy message, take a minute or two before firing off that quick response; let the message digest before crafting a response.
Now more often than not you can usually complete the other person's sentence, however bite you tongue and be patient. Let them finish their thought, if it’s in person, wait 3 seconds and then follow up with your question. When it's online, same thing, wait, wait, waitttttttt. Ok now follow up.
The more you can help slow the conversation down the more they will listen even though they are the ones doing all the talking. (This also works when dating and there have been times where I could hang out with a girl on a date for 3+ hours and maybe utter a dozen words or a few questions and she would later mention how she had the best time) - let em’ talk. When you are actively listening you can pull out the information that you find interesting. Trust me everyone has a few good stories up their sleeve you just need to find them.
Let's pivot for a moment and put you in their shoes, let's say you just texted your boss a long text about a family emergency and 1 second later he replies “you don't have to come in” which is what you wanted to hear however if he responded that quick, did he really read it or bother to care? Ask, listen, wait, wait, waitttttt, ok now respond. Now I will tell you a brief story about my friend James and how he takes this to the next level, now I would not necessary recommend to employ this 24/7 however it is something that can be used from time to time.
James runs his own business and is usually pressed for time, as a result one look at his phone and you will see 300 unread texts, 50 voicemails, and hundreds of missed calls. James would call me one of his best friends (I hope) however there are still times when I am in the text response penalty box waiting days for a reply. Which can be frustrating when you’re meeting for a drink and he answers 3 days later.
What is funny though is the effect this has on the women he chats with as well as his own prospects (once they know they have his attention it’s right down to business). We have all been in similar situations when texting a woman we are interested in and they take days to respond. “I'm sorry I didn't see this” is the usual cop out, yet you’ve seen them on snap 24/7 for the last week. What it usually means is that their attention is focused on another suitor like my friend James who isn't answering her snaps or texts yet you’re sending the heart emoji on every one of her snaps. You’re supply, he's demand and for most of us, we have all experienced each side of that coin more than we would like to admit.
I have seen text convos on his phone where girls will have had complete conversations with themselves and James never answers even once, they will ask a question, and later answer their own question. It's actually hilarious however when you take a step back there is a method to his madness and it works for him. I will be the first to admit that I have added this tactic to my tool belt and will make prospects wait for an answer (only to the top off the funnel prospect when there has been zero prior communication, same for a women I have not taken out yet). If they want to be added to the group chat I will usually wait at least 24 hours before responding to give the illusion that we are not available at a moment’s notice. I have also used this on some women and it tends to have a similar effect as they are not used to waiting on the guy to answer. Once you answer you now have their full attention.
NEVER I repeat, never use this on a current customer or anyone you truly care about or you will lose them as this will have nothing but a negative effect, I cannot stress this enough.
Do you have balls?
Share a conversation where you listened and asked questions and you were able to identity their objections before they had to use said objection as an excuse. An example could be the prospect saying they don't have time and you explaining how they probably have the time (before you asked them to join).