Many people, unfortunately, view sales people as talkers – running off well practiced and slick spiels to manipulate you gently (or not so gently) towards concluding a sale.
Sales is the industry of language. There is an age old adage ‘We have two ears and one mouth so that we can hear twice as much as we speak’. This is true – notwithstanding content and balance are more important than this exact ratio.
However, this neglects some other parts of our anatomy which are equally important in sales and working with people: You have two eyes! You should be seeing twice as much as you are talking and the same amount as you’re hearing. Often language isn’t aural – it’s visual. Worse, sometimes langauge contradicts itself – what you see a client do and what they say don’t match. You need to reconcile this as to which is the true sentiment. Many people get this – there are many courses and discussions around body language interpretation.
But hold on, we often forget we have two hands and two feet. What do they have to do with sales – everything! We should be acting twice as much as we’re hearing and seeing and four times as much as we’re talking. The truism of ‘actions speak louder than words’ is never more salient than in sales. What you say, hear and see in sales means very little to a client until you act on it.
The purpose of meeting with clients is to provide the path to helping them through what you say, hear and see – acting on this knowledge is key to successful client relationships. Don’t be remembered for what you said to a client, be remembered for what you did for them.