There’s nothing more important to a salesperson than the ability to communicate with their customers, and that involves both speaking, and more importantly, listening to what your customers want. There are two essential ingredients to effective communication:
- The ability to speak with understanding and excitement or enthusiasm.
- The ability to really listen to and concentrate on what your client is saying.
Let’s take a closer look at some keys to effective communication and how that can make you or anyone a better salesperson.
- Maintain eye contact: The chances of effective communication increase greatly when both parties are committed to maintaining eye contact. People often give off indicators with their eyes when communicating and that can be an effective tool for a salesperson. If you aren’t making eye contact – stop it, make eye contact. If your customer isn’t making eye contact, engage them in conversation or put something in their hands. If that doesn’t work a turn-over may be necessary.
- Watch for nonverbal indicators: Nonverbal indicators are often going to be your first clue as to whether your customer is engaged in the process or uncomfortable. If they start getting fidgety or anxious, then you are starting to lose them. However, if they are engaged, nodding their head, and smiling then you are off to a good start and have a chance. Through their body movements, responses, and indicators, they are communicating with you. You just have to be willing to listen.
- Concentrate: It’s important to remember that whatever your customer is saying or doing is the most important thing at that moment. You have to concentrate and listen to what they are saying. Yes, you know what you know, but what you don’t know is what the customer wants and the only way you are going to learn that is to concentrate on what they are saying. Also listen intently for what they may be saying that isn’t perfectly clear. For example, if they say they have been doing some research on the internet, what they are saying that may not be perfectly clear is that they chose not to buy off the internet – yet. You will need to give them a reason to buy from you.
- Keep them talking: The best way to keep a prospect involved in the process is to keep them talking. If they are talking, then there’s at least some level of interest. One way to keep them talking is to have a list of quality questions to ask them. If your questions are good, then they will keep talking and that will allow you to learn some amazing things. A few of those things include what they want, why they want it and whatever else they may need.
Those are just the first four keys to effective communication. We will continue our look at these keys in the coming weeks. In the meantime, remember effective communication is the key to effective selling.