As a sales pro, it probably comes as no surprise to you that you are just as much a sales tool as the product or service you’re choosing to sell. When speaking with your audience or following a new lead, you are the face and voice of the product, and you make a subconscious impression on your customer that will ultimately impact their response to your pitch.
That’s all well and good, but what if the wells run dry? It happens – people get burnt out, worn down, and just plain tired. It happens to the best of us, and while it’s tough, it’s anything but insurmountable.
Whether you feel like you’re struggling and are looking for new tools to add to your sales pro toolkit, or you’re seeking to unlock some hidden potential you didn’t even know you had, keep reading to discover the four underrated skills you can leverage to reach new clients.
Have you Been Listening?
The best skill in today’s world is being able to listen, and it’s one that so many sales professionals fail at. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are or what you’re doing: customers are sick of salespeople who keep trying to sell them their perspectives, solutions or points of view.
Some sales pros have technically grasped this skill, but haven’t mastered it; they listen because they know it’s the right thing to do, but they have an answer prepared in their mind long before the customer has finished talking. A customer who feels truly heard will buy not only your solution, but also a partner they can trust. That trust? Priceless.
Everyone wants to feel heard and seen, and by giving that to your customer, you’re not only building a potential lead, but you’re building a bond as well. That tiny moment of human connection can mean everything, and can carry on long past the initial interaction.
The act of stepping into someone’s shoes is an act of humility and service, two things that are great in theory but can be tough to practice. While it’s vital to be proud of your job and the work you do every day, don’t let that pride blind you to the customer’s point of view – that’s what matters most, after all!
Think about your customer’s perspective when approaching each lead. What are their hopes and dreams? What is a big win for them, and how can you make that happen? What gaps in service or in the marketplace they’re in can you help fill or solve? If you don’t know the answers, ask!
At the end of the day, you’re in this business to work with customers to fill their needs. In order to do that effectively, think about what they must be feeling on the other side of their problem. Your approach will change, and customers will pick up on it and reap the benefits.
Curiosity is Needed!
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it won’t kill the sales deal. In fact, your natural curiosity – or what your mother may have called nosiness – may make the difference between a big commission and a zero-sum bottom line.
Curiosity goes hand-in-hand with both listening and empathy; you put those three together and you’re golden. Curiosity is all about asking the right questions to suss out your customer’s needs. Prompt them to think about where they’re at, where they want to go, and what you can do to help get them there. Not only will you be able to gain a clearer understanding of your client’s needs, but you’ll also show them that you are ready, willing, and able to help – and that you care enough to do so.
Ability to Make People Smile
If you love cracking jokes or just have a demeanor about you that makes everyone want to spend time with you at parties, channel that energy each time you meet with a customer. People will smile when they feel comfortable and at ease, but many times a potential client will put walls up to not seem overly eager or gullible. The ability to crack those defenses a bit will go a long way.
There are several ways to do this depending on your personality and style. If you happen to fumble a pen or accidentally mute yourself on a video call, a small crack at your own expense can drastically lighten the mood. If you notice your client has a photograph of their children or family on their desk, wall or phone, ask them about the image and listen to the answer. This process allows you to humanize yourself to the customer and ensure they will be more open and willing to hear what you have to share.
If you see yourself reflected in these four underrated skills or have realized there’s a skill you never knew you had, now is the time to take advantage of these action items and grow your commission as a result. By approaching customers with listening skills, empathy, curiosity, and the ability to make them smile, you will ensure positive interactions that keep customers happy and coming back for more – which means more success for you!