Those who listen close the sale

Not making as many sales as you’d like? Are you really listening?

By Richard McKinley

Posted on Thursday, February 25th, 2016

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Good listening pays off

Really listening can:
• Persuade, motivate, guide
• Control a prospect’s purchasing efforts
• Inflate the prospect’s pride
• Uncover true needs and hidden sales opportunities
• Remove obstacles
• Guide the prospect’s thinking
• Identify when the decision is to be made
• Assist the client to identify any alternatives
• Help the client choose between their alternatives
• Motivate the client to take action and review their decision

While listening, do you practice these bad habits?
• Do something else while the client is speaking? Instead,
direct your attention on the client.
• Wait for a pause to get in your response?
• Listen with one ear? God gave us two ears and one mouth
for a reason.
• Repeating the same words while appearing to respond
to the client by saying things like “Fantastic…”
“Wonderful…” and the worn out “Awesome…”
Listening ceases when you have formulated your response,
you’ve been turned off by the client because you think there
are no opportunities for a sale, or when the client isn’t saying
what you want to hear.

Reasons for not listening:
• Taking the client/prospect for granted
• Being mentally preoccupied with other things
• Rudeness
• Lack of respect for the client
• Believing you know what the client is about to say and
• Not verifying the information before giving feedback

Sharpen your listening skills:
• Don’t interrupt with things like “But I think…” even if you
know the answer.
• Ask a question then wait for the response. Don’t answer
• Listen without prejudging.
• Utilize listening sounds (Ah ha… Gee… I see… Really…
I didn’t know that…).
• Don’t offer an answer until the entire situation is heard.
• Listen for purpose, details and conclusions.
• If the client/prospect mentions an important point you
can use in your favor, do not interrupt. Make a mental or
physical note for later.
• Ask questions to qualify the situation, to clarify and to show
• Listen like you want to be listened to.

Learn listening cues:
• Voice tones can tell you the client is thinking. Are they low,
flat, monotone? Halting or slow?
• Watch your tone of voice when responding to the client.
Make sure that you always show a genuine interest in what the
client is saying. —Richard
An attractive lady enters your office dressed in smart business attire, a smile and an air of confidence.

As owner of this reputable sign business, you’re confident you have a large fish on the hook and all you need do is reel her in.

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Richard McKinley is semi-retired from the sign business and the promotional products industry. He lives in Howard, Ohio. He can be reached at

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