sales strategies

Using Listening Intelligence To Increase Your Sales

Spread the love

Increase Your Sales With Listening Intelligence
Your Listening Intelligence

We’ve talked about how important listening is in sales, and you know I like to study Neuroscience in sales – more specifically behavioral neuroscience and how the brain affects buying behavior.

Today we are going to put the two together as we look about the four listening styles or listening preferences to see

how to increase your listening intelligence.

You probably already know that two people can listen to the same thing and hear two different things. Just like you have your own personal communication style, you also have your own listening style – you’re listening filters. What you focus on and what you filter out during the sales conversation with a prospect.

How well you are able to pay attention to this information is called your listening intelligence.

Just like your communication style or your negotiation style is an unconscious decision, meaning you do it automatically, your listening style is the same. You do it without even realizing what you are doing.

You know you can improve your communication and negotiation styles by bringing them into your conscious mind and taking time to learn about them. You can improve your listening skills the same way. Train your brain to work in a way that it is not used to and using this awareness of your behavior to get the new results from yourself that you want.

I have not created a quiz to help determine your listening style, but you can take the quizzes to learn your communication style and your negotiation style by clicking here. If I do add a What’s Your Listening Style Quiz, you will be able to find it in the self-assessment quiz area.

What if you learned to listen to the kind of questions the buyer asked, and you changed your sales conversation from talking about the big picture results to how you can support the prospect by solving a problem and making them a “hero”?

Bringing the message to them on a more relatable level. Same message, better result.

Just like we as salespeople “filter” incoming audio information, so do our prospects … and our clients.

If you were able to figure out your prospects’ filters, by listening to the questions and answers from them, what do you think might happen to the number of sales you close?

We go into our sales meetings with an agenda, the information we plan to relay to our prospect. Sometimes this information may be what you think is important, and you will share it in the way you would want to hear it. 

What if you delivered the same information, but in a way that your prospect would prefer to hear it? Yes, it takes a bit of tweaking on your part, for every different prospect. That is what your sales conversation is all about.

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

Stephen R. Covey

Having an outline of talking points (your systematic process), using the information you learn from your prospect and giving them a customized presentation design just for them – to help them get the results they want in a way that makes sense to them.

This is how you can give the same sales presentation with the same touch points to every prospect, every time, without becoming boring, mundane and rote. Doesn’t that make sense to you?

That is why I look forward to every sales conversation. Because while being the same – they are all different. Based on the personality, background, communication style, and listening style of each one of your unique prospects!

That was a mouthful! 

Let’s see what these listening preferences or filters are.

As you read this, I’d like you to focus on ways you can tweak the way you might present to each listening style so you can better communicate with them, and understand what they are really saying to you. 

I’m going to share with you not only what words or messages each style is likely to pay attention to, but also what each style is likely to miss, and how to recognize each type.

The first style is connective listening.

This type of listener focuses on how the information you are giving them will support others, rather than the effect of what you were saying we’ll have on them. Because of this “relational” perspective, you may find this type of person focusing more on trying to connect with you rather than what you were saying, missing some of the facts and details. 

They are socially intuitive and may pick up on some small details and how it will help or harm others.

Preference number two is reflective listening.

These people focus on what’s in it for them. Have you ever heard of WIFT, (What’s In It For Them), missing the overall big picture. You’ve met this prospect, I’m sure. 

Where it almost feels they aren’t even paying attention to you. But it’s actually quite the opposite. They are taking your information and internally processing it to decide if what you were saying will work for them or not.

Listening preference number three is analytical listening. 

This style focuses on facts and measurable data – very precise – no gray areas allowed. 

They are not interested in opinions or feelings, focusing on results and facts. They want concrete facts and may appear as emotionally disconnected.

And the fourth listening preference style is conceptual listening. 

These people are creatives that like to brainstorm ideas and like to think outside of the box, offering suggestions that others may not have considered. While considering all the options, it can be challenging to get them to focus and consider one solution. They are also not very good at listening to details. They filter in concepts and possibilities, and filter out details.

Here are some questions you can ask to make sure you understand exactly which listening style your prospect is using. 

All of these are all great questions, but you don’t want to use them all in one sitting. Use them situationally depending on the conversation. 

Do you have a pen and paper ready?

• Could you tell me more about that?

• I’ve noticed that … Then summarize back a feature of their listening style. For example: I’ve noticed that you like facts or that you care a lot about other people…thereby confirming their listening preference and how they want you to present to them.

• What I’m hearing is …?

• Let me make sure I understand…

• Let’s make sure I’m hearing you correctly …

• Let’s make sure we’re on the same page …

With the last 4 questions, you are summarizing back to them what you think they told you. This will show your prospects that you understand them and what their desires are.  Here is your chance to get back on track before you give them a proposal.

When you increase your listening intelligence, you’ll be better able to understand what you pick up on in a conversation, as well as what you tend to miss or even shut out.

Use your listening intelligence to recognize the listening preference of your prospects. Then adapt your style to their listening preference, so that you can keep your prospect engaged in the conversation. And give them what they need to make a decision to work with you.

Recent blog posts:

I‘d love to hear your thoughts on this post! Please post your message in the comments below.


Spread the love

Why (and How) to use a Daily Sales Planner

Spread the love

Why you should use a daily sales planner

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING I GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINKS, AT NO COST TO YOU. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Even though I have a great sales CRM platform available to me, I still like putting a pen to a pad (or planner) on the first day of every month. Writing down my monthly sales goals, including my monthly sales target, my weekly sales target, the times I will schedule the necessary appointments each day, and the “top prospects” of the month.

By defining my sales objectives and creating those weekly and monthly sales targets on the first day of every month, I am setting myself up for a successful month.

Once you decide on what your sales targets are, you will be able to decide the steps and strategy to get there.

I also plan in a time at the end of each week to assess how the week went. Did you hit your sales target for the week?  

What worked in helping you reach that target, or …

What went wrong and how can you correct it to get back on track. So that you can quickly identify the gaps you need to fill to reach your target.

This weekly planning and accountability using a daily sales planner helps you to know exactly how much money you will be putting into your bank account every pay period.

Within my main sales target, I look at the breakdown of how much I need to sell of a certain product or service.

Your sales mix.  Widget A and Widget B.  Maybe your commission or bonus is higher on Widget B. You want to make sure you are keeping track of that breakdown as well to insure you can maximize your income.

I break that down even further. Not into a dollar amount I need to sell, but into how many actual widgets I need to sell to reach my sales goals.  For example, would you rather have to sell $50,000 or 10 widgets?

The more attainable your goal feels to you, the more likely you are to achieve it!

Your personal objectives and goals should be clear and measurable. With very specific numbers, and specific dates that you will reach those goals by.  For example, I will sell 13 widgets a week.

Once you have that target in place, work backwards to create the exact strategy for how you will reach that goal.

How many widgets do you sell to each customer? (your average sale amount).

How many customers do you close on average?  One in two (50% close ratio), a two in three (67% close ration), one in three (a 33% close ratio).

From here you can determine how many sales appointments you will need to create the sales opportunities you need.

And, in simple form, your monthly and daily sales plan is created.  

First ,state your sales objectives. Then decide your strategic direction on how you will reach your objective, with daily and weekly monitoring of your actions and results.

When you have a great daily sales planner to help you, it’s magic.  

A great daily sales planner will help you put the systems in place and help you monitor your progress, but you have to do the work . The magic is you. And the time you spend at the end of every day, week, or month to strategically plan out what you need to do to hit your sales goals.  

A great sales planner just helps to make it your life easier by giving you a place to refer back to to hold yourself accountable so that you can quickly correct your course instead of missing your targets.

I am a big believer in the power of the written word, or in this case, plan.

Take time at the end of each week to schedule in the time for the next week. Time you will need to prospect, run appointments, and process agreements.

If you don’t plan in time for each of those three activities, one or more of them won’t get done.  The more planned-out your week is, the more urgency you will feel in the need to stay on track to complete your important sales activities.

I like to “batch” activities throughout the day. It’s based on how many activities I need to include. I also like to work the type of activity according to what my energy levels are during certain times of the day, scheduling the least demanding activities during my lowest energy level times (like right after lunch).

What would your perfect “sales day” look like,

and what would you include so that you could have repeatable success every day?

Mine would include 3 appointments a day, with 2 ½ hours in between appointments. That way I will have enough time with each prospect without either of us feeling rushed.

So, let’s block out appointment time of 10, 1 and 3:30.  If I know an appointment needs more time before I meet with them, I will allow two appointment slots with them.  Before you do that, make sure that the prospect is worth two appointment slots.   

Decide on your agenda for each meeting and the expected action you want your prospect to take at the end of the meeting.

I also know that I need about two hours of prospecting time a day. One hour to reach out to new prospects. Another hour to follow up with prospects that have not bought from me yet.  Your schedule may be a little different, but probably similar.  

I like to do my prospecting first thing in the morning. 9 to 10 am, and then again later in the afternoon at 4 or 5 pm. I’m a night person, and my energy levels are just getting started at 5.  I have found that this is also the time when more people will respond to me faster.

By putting this prospecting time in my daily sales planner, it is like setting another appointment. But this one is with myself, to do the things I know are important to consistently reach my weekly and monthly sales targets.

When you “break” these appointments with yourself, you end up losing and trying to play catch-up. Not what you want to do be doing at the end of the month.

Once you have the main outline in place, you can fill in the who and why. 

Having an organized strategy and goals with a plan on how to reach your goals will make it easier to hold yourself accountable and stick to the daily plan.

You should have a 7- day, and a 30-day sales plan. A good sales planner should have enough room to keep track of up to 90 days at a time.

How and when should you create these sales plans? 

The good news is, that with a hard-copy daily sales planner in front of you, it’s easy.  Once you make it a habit to keep up with this planning, it will become a second nature to you, just like in the Unconscious Doer Stage Four of the Sales Transformation Road-map System.

For the 30-day sales plan, I set it on the first day of each month.

In this plan, I have my monthly and weekly sales target numbers. I include my top 10 target prospects for the month, and 3 specific actions to take every day to get the results I want.

List the specific sales you plan on closing during the month. Then write down the things you need to do to close those sales and process the business.

I find that my monthly top 10 clients will account for 75% of my monthly goal. Secondary clients – the new clients that are just entering your sales pipeline, will fill in the rest.

For the 7-day, or weekly, sales plan, you want to have your plan in place for the next week before you end your week on Friday. 

It is incredibly motivating to have a plan, and appointments, in place for the next week. It makes you actually look forward to going to work on a Monday morning!

Transfer the things you didn’t complete last week to the next week – only if it is something that will lead to a sale.

And I review my day before I leave, every day.  I update the following day with what I need to do and when. Then I close the planner for the night.  

When you start the next day, open the planner, and your sales CRM program, and dig in.

Ultimately, your discipline and your decision to follow your sales plan is your key to success.

Click here for 15% off on the sales planner that I prefer!

Recent Posts:

I‘d love to hear your thoughts on this post! Please post your message in the comments below.


Spread the love

How to Be Successful in Sales in 2021

Spread the love

Going into a new year and being successful in sales in 2021 means re-evaluating our sales from last year- what worked this year, what didn’t, and put a plan in place for 2021.

When you are evaluating your sales and your actions, ask yourself these two questions:

1. did this action bring in results this year? and 

2. if not, then did you really give it a fair chance and put an effort into making it work or did you just make it a haphazard effort?

We all love the things that give us immediate results, but it’s not always possible. Especially this year, when we have had to be a little more creative in our selling. 

We’ve had to be a bit more strategic and put plans in place to win.

Creating and sticking to a daily schedule has been helpful for keeping my mind focused on selling.

Mornings are for phone calls and presentations and afternoons are for prospecting and reaching out to people that I haven’t spoken to before. And I end the day speaking again with people I already know. 

I prefer the mornings, because they know the people and it’s easier.

Afternoons are harder and may not bring immediate results, but I am planting seeds for future business. I end the day on a high note, with people I know again, who are closer to doing business with me or to buying this month. 

Your schedule may look different, but starting and ending the day positively is good for your psyche. Do what feels comfortable for you — just do it and stick to it.

Being successful in sales in 2021 means being regimented — having a plan and sticking with it, especially if you are working remotely and don’t have the structure you might get by working in an office.

I’ve been doing big sales prospecting email campaigns,

both to my existing and to new clients, and retargeting (or calling) only those people that open my email. 

When I can see that someone has opened an email two, three or even four times, that person gets a call. 

Use the available technology through your CRM, like Salesforce, to help you see when your emails are getting open and reach out to those engaged people.

It’s kind of like pre-qualifying your prospects through your messaging before you even meet them.

Tedious, yes, but much better than sending out letters and postcard mailers and not being able to tell who’s actually paying attention to you. 

Even if your company’s marketing department sent out emails, send your own.

Make them look different from what your company is sending. Try and create a “feeling” with your emails that will make your prospects want to read more from you and even “meet” you. Probably through a phone conversation or a virtual call.

I’ve also had to do extra things, because even now not everyone uses email!  Really!!!

So when I can’t email them, instead of just dropping that proposal into snail mail, (it’s called snail mail for a reason, trust me), I will drop it off at their front door, if they are local, or overnight it.  Then we can talk about it on the phone and close the deal.

I batch my days where I will spend the morning once or twice a week delivering three or four proposals. It’s not the best situation, but waiting for that mail to get delivered could take a week or even more. This way I know they have gotten it.

This also shows my prospect that they are worth the drive, and it creates an urgency that just saying “I’ll put it in the mail for you” does not.

I know you’ve all heard of work smarter, not harder. And I am in absolute agreement of that statement. But to me, it doesn’t mean work smarter – work less. It means work smarter so you have the time to do more!

Like doing the things to build your future business that you might not see immediate results from (remember that ongoing tedious email campaign?)

Especially if you are a new-ish person in sales.

There are so many companies looking for salespeople.

I see a lot of people getting their insurance licenses, and people getting their realtor licenses, and going into sales. 

You will get tons of product and service training, I promise you that. But not much direction on what to do with that training.

If you are new-ish in sales, get the free sales transformation roadmap right here. See how you can go from a newish salesperson to a top sales performer.

Welcome, and congratulations on your new career!

And for those of you that have persevered and continued selling this year, congratulations to you for everything you’ve done to stay relevant and successful, and adapting sometimes weekly to get the job done.

Some of you may know that I started my sales career in New York City. 

You’ve heard the Frank Sinatra song New York, New York—“If I can make it there, I’m going to make it anywhere”.

2020 – if I can make it this year, I’m going to make it any year. 

That song has become the theme song for many of us in 2020.

Think about it, whether you are new-ish or a seasoned, top-performing salesperson, if we can get through this and come out on top – or at least not too bruised, the rest should be easy, right?

Which leads me right back to the beginning, … and we come full circle.

To summarize, how to be successful in sales moving forward into 2021:

✅. Batch your time into similar tasks that you need to do. Start and end your day on a high note.

✅. Re-evaluate, keep doing the seed planting in December and January, and watch what grows.

Embrace technology like email and web conferencing to connect and stay connected – be creative if your client doesn’t have the capability printing out a proposal by personally dropping it off at their location if they’re local or overnighting it if they’re not so, that you can shorten the sales process time. Then review the proposal, answer questions, and close the sale over the phone. (There’s another thing I NEVER thought I would say!)

✅. Encourage more referrals – without even asking. Sometimes just sending a holiday card or an email can “remind” someone how wonderful you are.

✅. Take the extra time you have at home and invest in improving yourself (notice I didn’t just say sales – but taking time for personal mindset or a new home fitness program in 2021 is imperative).  

Recent Posts:

I‘d love to hear your thoughts on this post! Please post your message in the comments below.


Spread the love

How to Become a Top Sales Performer

Spread the love

The best way to help you become a top sales performer is to start from the beginning.

So let’s see where you are in the process.

The Wishful Doer – Stage One of the Sales Transformation Road-map.

As you probably know by now, I’ve created the Sales Transformation Road-map to help you see where you are now — what stage you’re in on your sales journey, and to guide you on what you can do to push on and get to the next stage, or level, and become a top sales performer.

This article focuses on stage 1 – The Wishful Doer, because if you’re anything like me, we’ve all felt a bit like we’re back in stage one again this year, at times.

I’ve had to rethink a lot of my “sales structures” this year, relearn a new way of doing things to stay successful, like adopting new technologies and email campaigns instead of cold calling on the phone. This was super frustrating at times. As a successful saleswoman, I’ve been doing this long enough where I should have it all figured out, right?

The Sales Transformation Road-map
The Sales Transformation Roadmap

But 2020 has turned a lot upside down and kept me on my toes. Adjusting, readjusting, and going back to where I started. Back in April and May it felt like I was changing every week. It reminded me about what it was like when I first started in sales, when I was a Wishful Doer. Because I felt right back there again this year.

When you are a Wishful Doer, you know you want to create a life for yourself with more income and more freedom, but you aren’t sure exactly how to become a top sales performer.

You may have had some sales experience before, and some success prospecting and even in closing sales. But it’s not consistent, which makes it very difficult to project your monthly income.

Your company may offer some sales training to you — but probably it’s more like products training on the products or services that you’ll be selling, not necessarily how to sell it. You are probably spending a lot of time listening to  sales podcasts, watching YouTube and reading sales books..and wondering how do you relate all that to selling in 2020 so you can become a top sales performer.

So you’re a bit stressed out, frustrated and maybe even thinking about taking a break from your sales job. I get it!

In the beginning of April 2020, I was really scared about how I could possibly make sales work. Luckily, I had used Zoom for my online trainings, so I was very familiar with how it works with virtual selling. Unlike most of my colleagues that had never even heard of Zoom.

I kept pushing through, because I believe in what I am selling and how it helps people.  Ask as we speak, I am back to selling remotely from home.

In stage one, you feel like you are barely keeping your head above water, with all you have to learn and all you have to do. Between your business and your personal life, it’s overwhelming at times. 

I definitely felt like that again this year. In fact, I still do. How do you do everything you need to do and still find time for yourself and your family?

By the time I get home at night it’s hard to find energy to do much more than sit on the couch and watch TV, or is it just me? On top of that, your inner critic is mean and keeping you stuck by telling you to give up. Your inner critic is designed to help keep you safe… But sometimes I just want to lock it up! You are trying to create a positive change in your life – don’t let your inner critic stop you.

Lastly you may feel like other people are influencing your decisions and your lack of ability to move forward and find success – like that sales manager that doesn’t provide much guidance to you I say help yourself. Because no one wants success for you more than you do. No one is coming to save you, and if you want it badly enough you have to figure it out.

So how can you pick yourself up and help yourself move from Stage 1, the Wishful Doer to Stage 2, The Hopeful Doer?

Start by assessing your current habits and identifying those things that you want to change.

Take a look at the things that you are doing now or have tried before that do not work for you. Determine what is working for you right now. You don’t have to do it all – do what works for you, because that is what will make you successful.

 We all have our own strengths and weaknesses. Do what works for you.

Watch with the best sales people in your company are doing to be successful – what can you learn from them?

Also, ask yourself why you want to be a top sales performer? Is the money and the freedom to do things with your family? Is it saving for a new house or a new car?

Be very specific on why you want to be a top sales performer. Have a you have a visual of what you are working so hard for. You are more likely to not give up if you know exactly what and why you are working to achieve something.

If this sounds like you, go back and listen to episodes 1 through 6 of the Sales Made Simple podcast. When I first started this podcast, I went through the most basic things first. Episode 1 through 6 are designed help you in this stage.

Just to show you what is possible for you, and give you something to strive for,

Stage 4, the Unconscious Doer, is someone that can easily move through the sales process without even thinking about what needs to be done or said.

A top sales performer.

They can easily handle objections, and asking for the sale is a piece of cake.

So you see, it is possible!

If you want to download the entire roadmap / guide click here. You will see all five stages or levels of the sales success and what you can do to grow from one step to the next, until you become a top salesperson! Let me know what stage you relate to the most with where you are now.

The reason I thought it was so important to do this with you and walk through is because we are all waiting for that day in the near future when we can travel and be with our friends and family again.

Don’t you want to know you have the resources and money to do that when we can?

So work on your success. What you choose to do now will affect how you were able to live your life next year at this time. Keep moving forward, even if it’s only a little every day.

 Focus on where you want to be, not on where you are now, and thank you for letting me be a part of your journey. 

Recent blog posts:

I‘d love to hear your thoughts on this post! Please post your message in the comments below.


Spread the love