Are They Sales Teams or Needs Development Teams?
The previous chapter focused primarily on one skill—questioning. Entire books have been devoted to this subject. That is because so many people, yours truly included, believe it's the most important skill of all. Success in sales is all about understanding the customer's needs, and there is no way to do that if you don't ask the appropriate questions.
But questioning is only one variable in a complicated equation. You can ask brilliant questions, but if you aren't listening effectively it is all for naught. It's quite obvious that you'll never learn what you need to know if you aren't listening.
Anyone who has been in the game knows that understanding the customer's situation better than anyone else is what leads to building meaningful relationships. You have to hear what the customer says and you also have to hear what they don't say. You'll never give yourself a chance to hear what matters if you don't ask the right questions and listen to the answers. It's all about questioning and listening.
We just investigated questioning and we'll discuss listening with equal passion in the next chapter. But before we explore listening, it's important to explain what to listen for. Sales teams must learn as much as possible about their customers. They have to go beyond just determining needs; they have to analyze the client's situation. Those words were not chosen lightly. There is so much to learn beyond the needs, and when sales teams ...