When it comes to successful negotiating, the magic solution is quite a simple one: learn how to listen. The truth is, closing the deal has very little to do with what you have to say but everything to do with what your client has to say. Keeping their mouth shut is typically very difficult for a salesperson, but when they do they gain a tremendous insight about the customer and their needs. The bottom line is this…the secret to selling involves learning your client’s pain points and you do that by listening more than talking.
Your Product is Less Important Than Meeting the Needs of Your Client
A salesperson’s first instinct is to pull out a demo of their product and start talking about all the bells and whistles. They spend too much time giving a detailed description of every feature and function and never even stop to ask the client what their needs are. An important rule of any negotiation is “you never lead with the what, you always lead with the why.” Why will your product be beneficial to the client? How can your product help solve their problems? Never pitch your product without fully understanding the needs of your client.
Identify Your Client’s Pain Points
In order to find out what your client’s pain points are you need to start by asking them what they think they are. Some clients will come right out and know exactly what they are while others will not even know they have a problem. In this case, it is up to you to educate them on the problem they have so they will be able to see how your product can help.
Ask Good Questions
Rather than telling the client what they should and shouldn’t be doing, a good salesperson understands the power of asking good questions. That means you need to ask the right questions that will help you identify the real pain points of your client. For example, you can start by asking “Tell me more about what you don’t like about your current product?” Then, you can focus your pitch specifically on those needs.
All of these strategies are important in closing the deal but none of them will be possible without active listening. The biggest liability most salespeople have is they never know when to stop talking. All that does is bore the client. Instead, consider only opening your mouth to ask questions. Your client should feel as though you are there to listen to their needs and you are more concerned with listening than pitching a product. In sales, listening is the most powerful tool one can possess.