The Key to a Successful Career in Sales

March 22, 2012

The number one key to sales success is learning to be a good listener. In fact, the ability to listen well is absolutely indispensable for success in all human relationships. The ability to be a good listener in a sales conversation is the foundation of the new model of selling. Good listening skills will lead to easier sales, higher earnings and greater enjoyment from the sales profession.

Many salespeople have been bought up with the idea that, in order to be good at your profession, you must be a glad-hander and a good talker. You may have even heard people say, “You have the ‘gift of the gab;’ you should be in sales!”

Nothing could be further from the truth. Psychological tests identify as many as seventy five percent of all top salespeople as introverts. They are very easy going and centered on the other person. They would much rather listen than talk. They are very interested in the thoughts and feelings of other people and they are quite comfortable sitting and listening to their prospects. They would much rather listen than talk in a sales situation. Poor salespeople dominate the talking, but top salespeople dominate the listening.

When a salesperson develops a reputation for being an excellent listener, prospects and customers feel comfortable and secure in his or her presence. They buy more readily, and more often.

The 70/30 Rule

You’ve heard it said that God gave man two ears and one mouth, and he is supposed to use them in that proportion. Top salespeople practice this all the time. They talk and ask questions 30 percent or less of the time while they listen intently to their customers 70 percent or more of the time. They use their ears and mouth in the right ratio.

Resolve today that from now on, you are going to dominate the listening in every sales conversation. Become comfortable with silence. Also, practice the 70/30 rule in every sales conversation—listen 70% of the time and only talk and ask questions 30% of the time. Then watch your ration of successful closings jump accordingly!

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Central Indiana, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Indiana. We would love to connect with you on Facebook.

Photo credit: jzcreations

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