Connect with us

Presenting

Listen Up

How to talk less and listen more the first time you meet a prospect.

Published

on

ListenUp

Let’s say your prospect says: “OK, tell me what you’ve got.” In other words, they’re asking you to tell them about your product or service and all the good things it can do for them.The problem is, you have no idea what challenges this person is facing, so you can’t make any recommendations yet. Let’s take a look at what to do next – and how to pose the questions that will help you make recommendations that will benefit everyone.

Elementary training would dictate a rote response like, “Mr Prospect, I’ll be happy to tell you all about our widgets. But first, can I ask you a few questions?” Bad idea. You’ll get to ask your questions, but this isn’t the time. Mr Prospect is used to being in charge. He’s asked his question, so just answer it.

Give a brief description of your company and emphasise the same benefits/features you used to get his attention when you first contacted him. For instance: “Mr Prospect, we’re XYZ, the nation’s fastest-growing widget company. We’ve helped ABC Widget Corp reduce its overhead costs by 12% this quarter, and they could do it without retrenching staff or sacrificing product quality.”

If your prospect interrupts you at this point, great – you’ve got his attention and his interest. Just listen carefully. If you don’t get an interruption, continue with: “What do you think about the possibility of reducing your overhead costs with a programme similar to ABC’s?” The conversation will proceed in one offive ways. Here are the probabilities, along with some solid suggestions for dealing with each scenario:

1. The Prospect Provides No Meaningful Feedback. This tells you one of two things:that you’re talking to the wrong person or there’s less potential here for a good match than you had hoped. What to do? Explore the possibility of talking to someone else: “Is there someone else in the organisation you feel would benefit from talking about this?” Don’t invest significant amounts of time or energy trying to make this prospect into something he’s not (interested and authorised). You’ve planned a full day, with lots of productive activities, so just say thank you, leave your card and move on to the next opportunity.

2. The Prospect Starts Picking Apart Some Aspect Of What You Just Said. (“How did they measure overhead costs? How did you measure quality?”) You’ve got a buyer with an analytical approach. He’s the kind of buyer who will always want more information – more data, more charts, more answers – before making a decision. What to do? Help this person to clarify priorities. Use numbers and percentages. Resolve one issue before moving to the next, because analytical thinkers tend to prefer approaching issues in a strict, logical sequence.

3. The Prospect Starts Talking About Himself In An Energetic Way. These buyers like to express themselves. What to do? Don’t interrupt them, and don’t ask them to “summarise briefly” (they hate that). Ask them how they feel, then give them time to tell you. If you let them talk, they’ll be convinced ofyour extraordinary intelligence.

4. The Prospect Starts Fidgeting Or Otherwise Demonstrates That He Is Uncomfortable With Your Question. This person is usually pretty indecisive, doesn’t like to make decisions by himself, doesn’t want to “upset the apple cart”. Your solution: Don’t ask questions that might put him on the spot, and cite tradition and precedent whenever you can – always emphasising what’s worked! Keep this person comfortable.

5. She Delivers A Concise, Decisive Response Outlining Exactly How She Feels About That Same Direct Question. This buyer probably occupies a significant centre of power in her organisation. And, in most cases, you’ll know exactly where you stand with these blunt people. So be direct and to the point with your questions. Don’t hedge or argue or bog the prospect down with details. It’s alright to challenge this type of person, but don’t argue. Stick to thebig picture and periodically ask your prospect’s opinion.

Speaking of the big picture, if you stick to the benefits and advantages of what you’ve got to offer, you’ll talk less and listen more. And that’s exactly why we’ve been given two ears and only one mouth!

Tony Parinello is an expert on executive-level selling as well as an author.

Presenting

(Video) Get More Attention For your Business

Lindsay Broder, The Occupreneur Coach, explains the importance of communicating your unique skills and the value you can offer clients in this short video.

Entrepreneur

Published

on

Get-More-Attention-For-your-Business_Video_Presenting

Demonstrating what you bring to the table isn’t always easy.

Lindsay Broder, The Occupreneur Coach, explains the importance of communicating your unique skills and the value you can offer clients in this short video.

Related:

 

Continue Reading

Presenting

(Video) How You Can Make Your Next Presentation Memorable

How to make your pitch memorable.

Entrepreneur

Published

on

Carmine-Gallo

From delivering board room presentations to speaking before a live audience, speaking publicly is something most of us will have to do at some point. But if we’re going to take the time to develop and practice delivering a presentation, we want to make sure the content and the “performance” are memorable, right?

In this video, keynote speaker and communication coach Carmine Gallo offers his top tips for how you can make your next business presentation one your audience won’t soon forget. Gallo is author of TALK LIKE TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of The World’s Top Minds.

Gallo recommends following the “rule of three.” Instead of presenting 15 or 20 points, stick with three or four features or pieces of advice. Why? It’s easier for people to remember and stay engaged with what you’re saying.

“It’s almost impossible for the human brain to ignore that group of three,” Gallo says. “We have to know what those three are.”

Continue Reading

Presenting

(Video) How to Hit the Presentation Content Nail on the Head

Building better business presentations.

Entrepreneur

Published

on

How-to-hit-the-content-nail-on-the-head-for-presentations_Video_presenting_sales

Avoid the glassy-eyed look from your audience by creating a strong presentation that delivers an exciting experience. Pam Slim delves into her process and techniques for choosing content to fill her presentation slides.

“Ask yourself: What do you want people to walk away with?”

Related:

Continue Reading
Advertisement

SPOTLIGHT

Advertisement

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Entrepreneur-Newsletters
*
We respect your privacy. 
* indicates required.
Advertisement

Trending