Did you know that about 80% of all sales require that salespeople make five follow-up calls? Despite this fact, about half of salespeople never bother to make a single follow-up call. Sometimes, making a connection and understanding your customer is the fastest way to sales success.
Some people struggle for many years to develop an effective suite of sales associate skills. However, these numbers show that success is often as simple as being willing to do something new.
Sometimes, the fastest road to improvement lies not in doubling down on our strengths but in looking for ways to shore up our weaknesses. Women are better than men at certain sales skills, but everyone can learn to take their sales success to the next level by cultivating these same skills.
Read on to learn about the sales skills that women excel at and how they lead to success!
The High-Value Skills That Women Shine At
In sales meetings, women tend to do more listening than men. Of course, this is a generalization and does not apply to all women and men.
However, it is clear that listening is a powerful sales skill that not everybody appreciates.
Why Sales Professionals Think They’re Listening
One reason that some salespeople struggle with listening is that they think they already are listening. This confusion is understandable because the difference between true listening and shallow listening can be subtle.
Even people who are masters of listening sometimes find it difficult to put into words what they are doing.
However, some people struggle to develop more powerful listening skills because they think they already are listening. After all, if the other person is speaking in a sales meeting, doesn’t that mean that you are listening to them? And if you are hearing the words they are speaking, isn’t that further proof that you already are listening?
Although it can be difficult to articulate, there is a subtle distinction between hearing what someone is saying and deeply listening to what they are trying to express.
Sometimes, people are following along while someone is speaking and then they think they see where the other person is going. As soon as someone thinks they already know what the other person is saying, it is easy for them to stop listening.
After all, since they already know where the conversation is going, why not spend their time thinking about the best response?
However, people often do not say what we think they are going to say. When they say something completely different, it is easy for us to realize that we had the wrong idea about what they were trying to express. But in other cases, people may express something that is different in a subtle way.
When that happens, we often charge ahead as if they had said what we thought they were going to say. Sometimes, the worst failure of listening occurs when we are certain we have understood the other person.
Why People Struggle With Listening Sales Skills
Listening in a deep way requires a lot of presence. When people are focused on their goals, it can take them out of the moment. It can lead them to generate strategy after strategy for reaching their goals.
It can seem like a paradox, but focusing less on achieving a goal can sometimes make it easier to reach it. That goes double when it comes to sales. That is because sales is all about connecting with the potential customer.
When a customer expresses something, they want to feel understood. If a salesperson acts like the potential customer actually said something other than what they said, that can create frustration. It is no wonder that this often leads to an unproductive sales meeting.
So how can we develop more presence and deep listening in sales calls?
Achieving Increased Sales With Listening
Most people are not focusing on careful listening during calls. This makes sense because we do not emphasize the power of listening as often as we should. However, there is a silver lining to this.
Because most people are not putting forth any special effort to listen in a deep way, improving listening skills can sometimes be as simple as remembering to focus on them.
Some people are skeptical that presence and listening will lead to sales success. After all, if they are not thinking about what to say next, won’t their contributions to the conversation be underdeveloped?
However, this concern can be alleviated with a simple experiment. Find a way to give yourself a recurring reminder to focus on listening in half of your upcoming sales calls.
You might set your phone to vibrate in your pocket every couple of minutes. Or you might put a visual reminder somewhere you will see over and over during your sales meetings.
After each sales meeting, give yourself a quick rating between 1 and 3 on how well you listened. By spending half of your sales calls focusing on listening and half of them focusing on your usual targets, you will get a clear demonstration of the power of listening. Once you have practiced listening during sales calls for a while, it will start to become more natural.
Understand Underappreciated Sales Associate Skills
Salespeople of all kinds tend to focus on the sales associate skills that come easiest to them. However, learning more about other sales skills can help you round out your tool belt and take your sales success to the next level. Many women succeed as salespeople because they have learned the incredible power of listening during sales meetings.
To learn more about how to increase the sales success of your team, reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!