Gerry Weinberg is what people might call a good listener – someone who is interested in what the other party is saying to such a degree that he believes it both helps him personally and professionally.
Weinberg believes that when you interact with clients, they should be doing at least 70 percent of the talking. That means you’re doing at least 70 percent of the listening. Listening is crucial for effective sales-it’s the only way you’ll learn what your prospect or client needs, he notes.
Celebrating more than 22 years in the Sandler Training Business, Gerry Weinberg and Associates has been providing sales training, management, and leadership training to individuals and companies resulting in greater levels of personal and professional success.
Based in Southfield, Weinberg and his team have trained hundreds of business professionals using a blend of personal experience, sales training and leadership techniques. The firm’s client base includes individuals, entrepreneurs and companies of all sizes in more than 200 different industries and professions.
Here are some of his tips for effective listening:
Prepare in advance: Focus on the buyer, and give him or her the best listening-to they’ve ever had.
Take notes: Taking notes shows your interest in the buyer’s message, helps you stay in control of the call, and provides valuable data to review later or share with your sales team.
Screen out distractions: Imagine you and the buyer are in a tunnel alone and all you can hear is each other. Think only of the message.
Limit your talking: You can’t listen and speak at the same time.
Listen for content: Listen to the words. Don’t respond to your stereotype of, or past history with, the buyer. Stop judging the style of delivery.
Prove that you listened: Once you believe the buyer has said everything, paraphrase what you heard. It confirms that what you are about to say responds to what the buyer really said.