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Learning and Listening

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In my experience with dealing with sales over the years, I’ve discovered there are two types of styles:

  • Solving and selling
  • Learning and listening

Let me tell you why I prefer the learning and listening style.

The traditional salesperson utilizes selling and solving. They go into a meeting programmed to try to solve the first thing they hear. They go down a rabbit hole with the client saying, “I can solve it! I can solve it! I can solve it!” But the problem is that the first thing the client mentions isn’t often the real issue.

At best, this might solve a particular problem a client has. At worst, it doesn’t solve the long term and real issue for the prospect.

I’d rather learn and listen. Learning and listening allows the client to talk first and to talk about what their needs are. By learning what the client needs, you are better able to understand if you can help with those needs or not. And by listening to the client, you learn more about their business style and if the two of you can work well together.

Additionally, the client isn’t always upfront at the beginning. Sandler Rule number 38 is that “the problem the prospect brings you is never the real problem.” By getting them to talk more, I am also figuring out what it is the prospect really wants from me, which they might not know either. By listening I determine if I can provide the help they need.

Learning and listening allows you to go deeper in the conversation, allows you build better trust and credibility, and allows your prospect to commit on an intellectual and emotional level. By doing this, you act like a trusted advisor and allow for long-term business relationships. Everybody wins.

Good luck on your next sales pitch!

Ken Seawell​​

Ken Seawell

Managing Partner Sandler Michigan - EAM Consulting Group