What’s on your mind?

The last blog I wrote how listening was a prerequisite for successful telephone sales.  This statement supposes that the other person on the line is interested in talking.  Getting the person on the other side of the line to talk is not automatic.  Getting the other person to talk is a skill; it is the skill of asking questions.

Some people are better at asking questions than others.  For some it is natural.  These people are so adept at asking questions that they answer questions with another question.  For example, the question “what do you think is the best way to go?” might be answered with “that depends upon many factors, for example, how long do you expect to own your home?”

When you ask questions, you start learning information from the caller.  You learn their needs, their motivation, and what is important to them.  You cannot learn these through chance.  You must have a set of organized questions that you use on a regular basis.  They should not be read like a script because every conversation will play out differently.  But they should all lead you to the same information.

What questions do you ask when someone calls about a listing you have for sale?  You should be able to think of twenty questions, at least, including: are they familiar with the neighborhood?  Do they own a home presently? What is their motivation for looking at the present time? Have they been pre-approved with a lender? What would they like to improve most upon with regard to their present living situation?

Note the questions that are “open-ended.” or cannot be answered with a simple “yes or no,” are the ones that are most likely to get the person talking so that you can control the conversation by listening.  You must be comfortable in asking these questions without hesitation.  If it sounds scripted, the person will not be comfortable.  Believe it or not, those who question and listen well are considered great “conversationalists.”

So, what what are the questions you ask during your initial conversation?

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Control the Conversation

I wanted to talk more about phone conversations and sales today.  I realize that some of your final sale may be done in person, it is important to work the phone properly as well.

To succeed in selling over the phone, it is important to control the conversation.  The person in control is more likely to achieve their goals.  Unfortunately, most people try to control the conversation by talking — this is a big mistake.

The preson who is controlling the conversation is typically listening.  The art of sales is actually the art of listening.  The person in control is actually learning something.  If you are talking and not listening, you will never learn the needs of the caller and how to fill those needs.

When you are not listening, you are talking.  You may not realize this, but when you are talking too much the person on the other end of the line may have turned you off — mentally.  If you were a television and they had a remote control, they would just switch stations.  How many times have you thought a telephone call went well, but there were no positive results afterwards?

You can only tell if they are interested, and you are on the same page, if you are listening to what they have to say.  It does not matter who initiated the call.  Just because you called someone doesn’t mean that you do not want that person to do the talking — even if the call was initiated as a cold call.