I recently hired a sales person for my team and during the interview process, I am specifically looking for a response to my question, "what makes you good at sales?"
A little background on the candidate: He previously worked at an online start-up company where selling was required. However, he initially started as an intern and had to teach himself sales as his responsibilities changed. Within 6 months, he became the top performer and was even asked to record his calls for training purposes.
His answer to my question, "what makes you good at sales?" was simply, "I listen." This is key because listening helps in understanding how people respond to the questions you ask.
In my training, I always emphasize the importance of being an information gatherer rather than an information giver. Many people wrongly believe that selling requires constant talking. Additionally, the sales process is often referred to as a "pitch," which is not entirely accurate. Approaching potential clients by talking and trying to impress them before they make a purchase will prove to be challenging.
By asking the right series of questions that I teach, three important things happen:
1. The person feels heard, which is highly valuable.
2. You can truly understand how much you can assist them, avoiding the mistake of assuming everyone fits into a predetermined "box" and potentially missing out on sales opportunities.
3. They, the potential clients, have an epiphany when they hear their own problems articulated. This realization can lead them to consider making a change. It is crucial for the buyers to take the initiative to purchase or invest in you. When you do all the talking, they fail to recognize their own problems, and the idea to make a purchase remains buried.
Let me know if you need further assistance.