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 AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
- The skill improvements in Automotive were substantial and produced significant ROI from the investment in time to improve Questioning/Listening Skills.
- Questioning/Listening 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.
The Automotive Industry started with selling skills that were generally below the Universe. An exception to this was Gaining Commitment were salespeople had significantly higher pre-sales training scores. It appeared that automotive salespeople were being trained to be closers without enough training on the other critical selling skills. This creates selling situations where pressure is applied (rather than persuasion). Once the additional critical selling skills were more fully developed, sales growth rates in the Automotive Industry improved by 6X previous rates. This clearly demonstrated the need to develop a well-rounded set of sales skills.