Scenario 1. Sam is off to a meeting with a prospective client. You’ve armed him with a bunch of questions he needs to ask, he’s prepared with his list:
Ask them what challenges they are facing today?Ask how long they’ve been experiencing these challenges? Ask why it’s important the business solves them now? Ask how they’ve tried fixing the problem in the past? Ask why those solutions didn’t work? Ask what other providers they are looking at? Ask them if they’ve allocated budget? Ask what’s stopped them putting in a solution like this before?
And the list goes on..
So Sam enters the meeting frantically trying to remember every question he must ask before he leaves. And here comes the problem. Sam is so focused trying to remember the questions on his list he isn’t listening to the answers. He might hear the answers and he might write them down, but he isn’t listening to them. The listening part is crucial, it’s the part that ignites conversation and uncovers everything he really needs to know.
For your reps to be truly great at listening, focus them on meeting ‘outcomes’ not meeting ‘questions’
Scenario 2. Sam is off to his meeting, he has 3 things he wants to understand more about the company to see if there is an opportunity with this prospective client:
Understand their challenges.
Understand why it’s important to fix them.
Understand what success looks like to them.
Focusing on meeting outcomes will make sure your sales team understands at a high level the information they need to find out and gives them the freedom to do it in their way. They will feel confident in developing their own questioning style and instead of worrying about the next question on the list, they will focus on listening and developing a great conversation.
Arm your reps with questions and you’ll create sales robots
Arm your reps with meeting outcomes and you’ll have a bunch of seriously good listeners