Have you ever had one of those sales calls where you know you are SO right for the client that you are practically bouncing out of your seat?  Have you ever wondered why the person didn’t buy from you?

When selling one of the number one mistakes I see people make is they are so focused on getting to yes that they miss all the flags the customer holds up.  This means that you end up presenting the entire time on what you have to offer, they pepper you with questions and you leave proud that you had the right answers to their questions.  And then…the deal never comes through and you are stumped as to why.

So what happened?

When you go for the yes your brain automatically focuses on:

1. Looking knowledgeable to the client.  This means that knowing your “stuff” becomes more important to your brain them helping them with their “stuff.”

2. Being prepared with your message.  This means your brain is more focused on “getting through” your presentation then on customizing the presentation to their needs.

3. Listening for the fit.  This means you are listening for what will weed you in versus what will weed you out.  Therefore, the what will weed you out discussion happens without you present.  I would rather you were there to candidly talk about why it would or wouldn’t fit with their needs; how you stack up against the competition, and what obstacles they need to overcome internally in order to take action on what you share.

What you want to do instead is have your brain focused on truly listening to what the client needs, why they believe they need it (think what pain do they think it will eliminate), and what fears they have with making a change.  Once you open up your listening you are better able to “hear” both the opportunities and the blockers.  Since they don’t feel any pressure that you are trying to sell them something they will start to share more candidly with you.  This leads to greater cross selling and larger contracts.  Your expertise is felt, not in what you share, but in what insights you help them uncover.

Take Action:  At your next client meeting try to spend 30% of the time talking and get them to talk 70% of the time.  See what information comes up that you normally never have access to otherwise.