One of the challenges in any sales or service role is when training tells us what to say and how to say it. Training tells us we should focus on benefits, and tries to help us to categorise the prospect so that we can then focus on key benefits. There’s nothing wrong with this approach except that it can sometimes stop us listening. To help focus on listening there are a number of tips we can follow.
One of the best tips is that we can ask questions on whatever they say. So if they say, “I’m not really looking for…”, our question is,”ok, so what are you looking for?”. If they say, “tell me about your product or service…”, we can say, “Yes, what sort of application of our product or service are you looking for?”, “what do you want to use this for”, or “what do you want the product to do for you?”
If they say, “We tried that but it didn’t work for us.”, we could say, “oh really, what was your experience?” Asking questions following anything that they say helps us to focus on them and that will help us to listen.
At the outset of the conversation they may say, “we are a marine business selling brackets to yacht builders”, so we might say, “oh, how is business these days?”, or “is it solely the yacht market or do you supply other sectors?”, or “How is the yacht market these days?”
Whatever they say, asking questions not only demonstrates an interest in them, but helps us to listen as we are focusing on them. When you speak with a client or prospect today you could try asking questions based on whatever they say.

How to focus on listening to your prospect or customer
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