Stop Selling and Start Listening

July 28, 2009 by Shirleen Von Hoffmann Leave a reply »

By Shirleen Von Hoffmann “The Queen of Sales” ™ President & Sales Coach for Homebuilders AdvantEdge® & Creating VIP’s ® copyright 2009©

People aren’t interested in what you have to sell; they are only interested in what they sign guy

It’s the True Sales Pro who can figure out those needs through questioning and sell them.

How do you put the focus on the prospect, instead of our own excitement about what you have to sell to them?

By asking good questions and being a great listener. How do you Listen attentively?

You must HEAR:

The HEAR model stands for Hear, Empathize, Analyze and Respond, all essential to active listening. Use it to better understand the facts, ideas and feelings of the speaker and to help the speaker clarify their own thoughts, problems and solutions.

H – Hear the speaker’s words
• Listen attentively to their words and feelings.
• Keep an open mind. Avoid letting your own feelings, attitudes or opinions interfere with your ability to listen.
• Do not evaluate, censor or try to monopolize the conversation.
• Do not interrupt. It is important to listen to the speaker’s entire thought before you respond.
• Do not listen to think of your response, then you are thinking of your response and not really listening.

E- Empathize; put yourself in their shoes
• Display an interest in their point of view, even if it differs from your own.
• Tilt your head as you listen from side to side.

A – Analyze the speaker’s words and thoughts.
• Listen for the thoughts, feelings and emotions behind the words.  Thinking is faster than speech. Use your extra “thought time” to summarize, review and anticipate.

R – Repeat & Respond
• Is the last stage of hearing. Check for understanding, by paraphrasing the facts as well as the speaker’s position.  Then respond to the need.

So remember stop trying to sell what you have upfront and instead, question, listen and discover  needs.  Then just sell those needs.  You will find that people love being heard and understood and once you do that the sale just drops in your lap.  Give it a try today and watch your sales grow!

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12 Responses

  1. John Balderrama says:

    Good afternoon,
    Once again words of wisdom!

    I HEAR what you are saying and will share this with my sales staff.


    John Balderrama
    VP of Operations at Procurement Services Assoc.

  2. S. Robert August says:

    Great comments!
    Make notes! Show an interest with your questions to make everyone feel comfortable!
    Your prospects will become your buyers faster!
    Best Wishes for more sales and closings!

    Posted by S. Robert August, NAHB Life Dir., IRM Fellow, MIRM

  3. Thanks Robert,
    I can always count on you to counter with great advice. Your the best!

  4. John,

    So glad you HEARD…and very glad to know you will find this useful and share with your staff.

    Happy Sales!

  5. Mike Hofmeister says:

    Invaluable information. As I visit sales offices, way too many sales (?) people are only interested in telling me their “gimmick of the day” and asking me to sign their registration card. I cannot remember the last time someone asked me what I was looking for in a new home. Thank you for your insight.

    Mike Hofmeister, MIRM, MCSP
    New Home Planning, Design, Sales & Marketing

  6. Mike,

    I find that point to be very true as well. I visit hundreds of sales offices and find many do not ask enough great questions. The common approach is to push me off to view the models and then once returning ask if I have any questions…if I don’t, I am usually dismissed. Not a good way to sell.
    Thanks for your input.

  7. Christen Roberts says:

    These are excellent suggestions – but I have found through experience that practice is required to get it down.
    Christen Roberts
    CO-Owner, Lockbox Marketing Group, Inc.

  8. Christen,
    You are so right. I have found all great sales techniques need practice to ensure they come naturally to the salesperson.
    thanks for the the comment.

  9. Janet Deleuse says:

    Thank you for posting the reminders for us to listen & HEAR our Luxury customers.
    Your directions are very clear, direct and well written. The reminders are especially helpful now at a time when there are fewer customers!

  10. Janet,

    So glad you enjoyed my article. You are right, HEARing really comes in handy when traffic is down. Time is really freed up when our traffic is slower which means we can spend more quality time with each prospect and giving them our full EAR!

    Take Care

  11. Jankarl Farrugia says:

    absolutely agree. Few sales people take this precious time with clients seriously and mostly go for the kill…and funnily enough they do ‘kill’ their sale by not listening to what a prospect really needs.

    Jankarl Farrugia
    General Manager at Regus Swatar Malta

  12. Jankarl,

    Thanks so much for your response. I am glad you agree with my article. Listening is really so easy, I don’t know why it is so hard. It is very basic but many Sales People don’t understand the aspect of “sell what people want, not what you have to sell”.

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