Friday, December 6, 2013

Making Sales and The Art of Listening

Making Sales and the Art of Listening
by Marc Alan c. 2014

Today as I sat in my office away from home, sipping a Venti Latte, typing away on my trusty Ipad, I became aware of a voice few feet away from a nearby table. It was the unmistakable sound of a salesman!

He was in the middle of a pitch to an athletic looking fellow about a line of vitamins that are supposed to be the be all-end all for sports nutrition, when I noticed that the man had not taken a break from talking in nearly 30 minutes. I couldn't tell if the man he was talking to was actually listening, but my eyes were glassing over just overhearing what this man was saying.

In fact, the man who was probably an athletic coach of some sort only ever said one thing that I heard: "Oh, look at the time, I have to go." And with that, sweet silence, at last.

This reminded me of something my father once taught me about sales which is that listening to a customer explain his needs, for which your product may be suited, is more important than you telling him about your product, or how much he needs it.

You can tell your potential client all day what you do, about all of your different products, how your product is better than everyone else's, ad nausea. But unless you take the time to listen to him, he will never feel that you're on his side. If you're on his, then there is trust. No trust=No sales.

It is very much the same when it comes to musicians start talking about their music. Believing in your band, having passion for your music is all well and good, but sometimes you have to put down the megaphone and just listen. Listen to your customers. Listen to your fans.

Otherwise, all you ever hear at the end of your broadcast: "Oh, look at the time, I have to go."

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