ANIMAL HEALTH INDUSTRY
IMPROVEMENT IN CRITICAL SALES SKILL #3: QUESTIONING/LISTENING
QUESTIONING/LISTENING. Great listeners ask great questions. The best salespeople don’t just ask questions; they ask the best questions. These are the questions that allow you to develop a better understanding of the customer’s situation and demonstrate your sincere interest in the customer. Salespeople who do this the best, sell themselves to the customer. The ‘salesperson’ is the first buying decision that the customer makes. When it’s made in your favor the rest of the buying decisions become far easier to achieve.
REMARKABLE FINDINGS ABOUT QUESTIONING/LISTENING SKILLS IN THE ANIMAL HEALTH INDUSTRY
- The skill improvements in the Animal Health Industry were enough to produce a substantial ROI from the investment in time to improve Questioning Skills.
- Questioning Skills improvement has implications on other critical skills such as Presentation Skills. I.e. If key needs are not uncovered with questions, presentations cannot accurately hit the mark.
Animal Health appeared to have made investments in sales training prior to their investment in this training. This is demonstrated by slightly higher pre-sales Training scores than the Universe in nearly all of the 5 Critical Sales Skills. Animal Health was 3 points higher in Knowledge and 4 points higher in Application than the Universe in pre-sales training skills.
Post-sales training scores were also slightly higher than the Universe. Presentation Skills experienced the greatest gain with 100% improvement. The eye-opener for Animal Health was the realization that “pitching” products wasn’t the best way to develop long-term relationships with customers. Even though many salespeople in the Animal Health Industry struggled to change from “pitching products” to “presenting solutions,” those who made this leap outperformed those who didn’t.