A lot of people think sales is all about talking, but nothing could be further from the truth. One of the biggest weapons you have in your sales arsenal is the ability to listen. If you learn to listen to your customers, and not only to the words they say, but their tone of voice and the words they choose not to say, you can learn the right way to sell to that customer. It may take a little practice, but listening can become one of your most valuable sales skills.
When a customer comes into your shop or calls to place an order many probably already have a goal in mind. They want a 100 t-shirts or 5 hats or a monogrammed blanket for a friend’s new baby. Sometimes it really is as straightforward as that and the only listening you have to do is when you’re taking down the specifics of the order.
In other cases, however, things may not be so easy. Maybe you’re trying to sell a large business on using you to create their corporate logowear. Perhaps a customer comes into your shop knowing they want shirts, but unsure about what kind, or even if it’s really shirts they want. In these cases, your job is to sell the client on your services and your expertise and one of the best ways to do that is by listening.
Listening to your customers can help you do a lot more than figure out what they want at that particular moment. Many customers may give you glimpses into other possible opportunities for sales. If you listen you can generally also figure out how much knowledge your customer has about embroidery and corporate logowear and you can tailor the information you give your customer to fit their level of knowledge or to help educate them.
Taking the time to listen to your customer also allows you to ask questions beyond “so you want pink and not blue?” Focused listening and asking targeted questions can get you a lot of information your client may not have intended to give you. If you’re looking to turn a first time client into a long term client, every bit of information can be useful. Listening allows you to ask targeted questions and then to absorb the answers and select the areas about which you would like more information.
Finally, listening helps make your customer feel important and special. It’s a well known fact that every likes to feel as though they matter. Paying attention and listening will make your customer feel like you value their business, which is never a bad thing.
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