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Supremely Successful Selling: Discovering the Magic Ingredient by Jerold Panas

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Chapter 13

Listen! I Think I Hear a Sale

I FIND MY EARLY FEW MINUTES with a likely buyer are often my most valuable. I don't engage in idle chatter. I'm actually on a fact-finding mission.

I probe. I ask questions. Mostly, I listen. The more you listen, the smarter you get.

After I spend time getting to know the likely buyer much better, I begin asking questions about our product. Are you surprised I'm not touting my product. You're right. I want the buyer to talk and promote it. Here are some questions I ask.

  • Tell me a little bit about what you might know about our products. How did you hear about us?
  • If you know about us, tell me what you think of our product.
  • How do you see yourself and your family using our product?
  • You have been using a product similar to ours. What would you like to change most to make it the most valuable to you?

You will note these are all open-ended questions. You really haven't spent a lot of time talking about your product. Not yet! But you're discovering important selling clues.

You don't listen to respond. You listen to gain information. That's a very important distinction.

While you're uncovering valuable information, you're gaining rapport. You will find that the more time you take in securing a bond, the less it will appear later that you're using pressure.

That's what I mean by selling with integrity. You motivate. You do not pressure.

If you're talking, let's say, to a corporate purchasing agent and you're not quite sure how great his interest ...

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