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Your Best Sales Tactic? Go in Curious

Your Best Sales Tactic? Go in Curious

Categories: Podcasts

One of the most succinct pieces of advice our sales performance experts often share with reps is to go in curious and listen. Going in curious means you’re not going in assuming you know what the buyer's problems are. Instead, you’re asking great questions and letting the buyer do most of the talking. The conversation should be focused on buyer needs, challenges, and desired outcomes. Remember, opportunities are won and lost on effective discovery. You can't be a best-in-class seller if you can't ask great questions and actively listen to your buyer’s answers. 

Force Management Co-Founder John Kaplan provides a refresher for salespeople on why you shouldn't be constantly talking in your sales conversations with prospects in the podcast below. He shares the small tricks he uses to keep his conversations focused on the customer:

If you don’t have time to listen, get a rundown of the topics below: 

Sales Skills to Sharpen:

1. Actively listen so you can show your genuine interest

Don’t hijack the silence in a conversation. You may be mere seconds away from a valuable answer. If you’re truly listening, you’re not just waiting for your turn to speak or thinking about your next question. You’ve built your question flow for a reason, to hear the answers and guide the buyer conversation. Let it do its job

Ask great questions, listen and when you do talk, validate what you’re hearing from the customer. Leverage those insights to dig deeper and build business acumen. It’s a red flag for your buyer, and yourself, if you’re not able to validate and playback what the customer is sharing with you. Avoid the setbacks that red flag brings by being truly curious and listening to your prospect’s answers. Then, you can respond in a way that’s relevant to what you’re hearing and show the buyer you genuinely want to help them achieve their positive business outcomes. 

Focus on active listening, giving your full attention to the speaker and their answers, so you can understand their position and how to further the conversation. The better you listen, the better you'll be able to present yourself as a problem solver that’s essential to your buyer’s desired outcomes. 

2. Be Audible-Ready to Respond

Be audible-ready or prepared to respond to your buyer based on what you’re hearing. As a seller, your goal is to consistently demonstrate the value of your solution in a way that aligns with the critical outcomes that your buyers have shared with you. Being audible-ready will keep the conversation focused on the buyer, regardless of where the conversation leads.

To be audible-ready in your sales conversations you have to understand the pain points that your customers have and how to adjust your conversation accordingly. Here’s how:

  1. Have a strategic objective for your meeting in mind. Determine what you want to accomplish in the conversation so you can prepare your plan to be audible-ready to achieve it.  
  2. Understand the pain points facing your buyer. What do you know so far? What don’t you know? What specifically are they hoping to achieve from implementing a solution or having this meeting with you?
  3. Prepare open-ended discovery questions to help you achieve your desired outcome. Do you need to dig deeper into your buyer's buying criteria? Do you need to gain knowledge of others in the organization who may affect your deal? 
  4. Be strategic about the question flow you build. Have an idea of the answers you’re hoping to hear, the ones you don’t want to hear and others that may surprise you. Consider these different scenarios, so you can pivot your conversation in a way that’s relevant to your buyer’s needs and your objective for the meeting.

Dig deeper on the four activities you must focus on to be audible-ready in your B2B sales conversations.

Improve Your Ability to Hit Your Number, Again and Again

Becoming elite takes practice. Just like professional athletes, elite sellers are constantly honing their skills in order to close premium contracts.  

Whether you’re at the top of your game, just starting out, or shifting to selling larger deals — focus on the fundamentals. After all, good selling is good selling, at any level. The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast makes it easy to stay up-to-date on best practices and techniques. Subscribe on your preferred streaming platform, and tune into new episodes every Tuesday.

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