Needs Audit: Ask and Listen

Salespeople are courageous. They can talk to anyone. Salespeople have the gift of gab. They can talk about anything. The ability to initiate contact and make connections on a diverse set of topics is a highly valuable skill. However, as Ella Wheeler Wilcox said in her poem Will: “Gifts count for nothing.” The greatest skill that a sales person can learn and which is often overlooked is the skill of listening.

Progress is made and sales are closed when the sales professional is listening, not when they are talking. A great sales person knows how and when to listen. Just think about Griffin Hill’s sales process. It is six simple steps: Case Open, Needs Audit, Solution Presentation, Adapted Solution, Closing Interaction, and Fulfillment and Follow-up. Good sales professionals are skilled at making connections in the Case Open routine. They are superb presenters making them effective at the Solution Presentation. Great sales should also be exceptional listeners, and they aren’t always are. It is the listening skill that makes a professional stand out from the sales crowd and that is the domain of the entire Needs Audit routine.

In the Needs Audit, the prospect shares ideas, opinions and possibilities. A sales person skilled in the Needs Audit creates a guided discovery experience for their prospects. The prospect discovers needs, wants, issues, and solutions. The process creates a desire–a hunger, for a solution yet to be offered.

Developing a listening skill set takes work. It takes practice; it requires guidance from a skilled coach over time. As you work to develop more effective questions, consider this important talk to listen ratio that will help you succeed. In a Case Open the sales person it is common for the sales person to talk 90-95 percent of the time. During the Needs Audit however, a sales professional will only talk 15-30 percent of the time and instead will spend a majority of it listening.

Listening doesn’t simply mean being quiet while someone else speaks. For the sales professional, listening includes asking meaningful questions, seeking clarity about observations made by prospects and creating epiphanies of value.

Sales people who listen are sales people who win. Therefore, sales people who use the Needs Audit routine are sales people who close more deals. Want to experience a Needs Audit for yourself? We want to learn about your goals and dreams. We will point you in the right direction and the consultation is free with no strings attached! Fill out the form below and schedule with us!

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