Here’s a simple tactic that can help you improve your sales process, win over more prospects and close more deals: Listen more. It’s a good idea to follow the 80/20 rule, where you listen 80% of the time and talk 20%. The exact ratio may change depending on the type of call you’re on. For example, if you’re on a cold call, you might adjust the talk-listen ratio to where you’re talking 45% of the time to ask discovery questions and listening 55% of the time.

While it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of convincing prospects you have the best solution, it’s best to be quiet and let the prospect talk, says Trey Morris, a VP/senior consultant for The Center for Sales Strategy.

In this issue of PromoPro Daily, we discuss Morris’ thoughts on why salespeople should always talk less and listen more.

Your prospects aren’t interested in the details. You might be pumped about a new promo but remember that prospects care about solving their problem and achieving their goals. Most of the time, Morris says they’re not interested in all the impressive features. They just want to resolve their challenge or accomplish their goal.

Your prospects are focused on their objectives. This is another reason why it pays to listen more than speak in conversations with prospects – you learn a lot about what matters to them. To understand what’s on their mind, Morris recommends asking questions about their business and listening wholeheartedly to their answers. He says this can help you determine how to assist them. It also shows your genuine interest in their success.

Listening will set you apart. Another reason to focus on listening more than speaking? You’ll stand out from all the other sales reps out there. Morris says sales calls often involve eager salespeople who quickly talk about their products. They might ask some general questions before launching their pitch, but this is still what prospects expect. You can differentiate yourself by asking thoughtful questions and attentively listening.

If you want to sell more, aim to talk less. Honing your listening skills allows you to identify objections and more easily interpret verbal and non-verbal communication. If you’re busy talking about your solution and not actively listening, you may miss important signs. It’s worth learning how to listen more – and listen better.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Trey Morris is a VP/senior consultant for The Center for Sales Strategy.