Michael Stone: Doing Things Right

It’s the beginning of the holiday season and I’d like to talk about a topic that can change both your sales ratio and your relationships.

The topic is communication. How well do you listen? Years ago, I read a book on sales where the author said that if you want to communicate, you have to listen. The way to tell if you’re a good listener is to notice what you do when you’re interrupted.

What do you do when you’re interrupted? If you’re on a sales call and your client’s mouth opens, your mouth closes. You stop talking. It doesn’t matter what you were saying, button up.

You stop speaking even if you were in the middle of answering a question they asked. Button up, listen, and respond to the new question. If they come back to the previous question or subject, you’ll have an opportunity to finish your thought. If they don’t come back to it, obviously it wasn’t that important to them; that’s why they interrupted.

Buttoning up is hard to do; it’s even harder if you haven’t done it before. It takes practice and discipline to shut your mouth and listen, but until you learn how, you won’t become a good communicator. You’ll never rise above mediocrity in sales.

If you’ve read our book, Profitable Sales; A Contractor’s Guide, you will note that it’s important on every sales call to ask and get answers to the four basic questions. You get those answers by asking questions. You don’t get answers by interrupting or lecturing your potential clients.

How do you train yourself on this technique to be sure that it comes natural during your conversations with others? By practicing with those you know. Ask someone close, your spouse or someone you work with, to interrupt you when you are talking. They are to do this deliberately and at different times during the day so you can train yourself to respond correctly. What’s the correct response? When their mouth goes open, your mouth goes closed.

If you can do this while controlling your emotions so you don’t become offended or irritated, you’re on the right road. When you practice at home, and there’s a good chance you’ll get an opportunity over the holidays, you’ll get even better at it. You’ll find yourself doing it naturally on sales calls. You’ll improve your sales-to-leads ratio, which means the opportunity for more referrals and more profitable business.

It might do wonders for your personal relationships as well.


Listen to the audio here, or select the dots on the right to download:


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