A common death trap salespeople fall into is having â€œhappy ears,â€ meaning, they tend to hear what they want to hear. In actuality, what they (salespeople) heard does not reflect the real intent of what the prospect said.
The cure to â€œhappy earsâ€ is to be skeptical, yet nurturing. Your prospect says: â€œI like what you are saying, and your product is a good fit!â€ You respond: â€œI appreciate your kind words. When you say â€˜good fit,â€™ what exactly do you mean?â€ This is a reversing technique that will show you the difference between nice platitudes and an actual sale. Never presume that the signals are positive—always verify.
It is the salepersonâ€™s responsibility to
- Determine the prospectâ€™s intentions and expectations.
- Help the prospect be more specific and define any ambiguous terms or phrase that may be misinterpreted.
- Tie up any loose ends.
- Make sure all parties to a conversation or meeting are in sync with what transpired and what is supposed to happen next.
Make it a practice to recap the conversation after interactions with the prospect or clients: â€œLet me quickly recap what we discussed to make sure weâ€™re all on the same page and we didnâ€™t leave anything out.â€ Then, review the conversation and ask, â€œDoes anyone have anything to add, orâ€¦did I miss anything?â€
Eliminating potential misunderstandings today reduces the opportunity for unfulfilled expectations tomorrow. In the New Year, make it a habit to prevent yourself from experiencing â€œhappy ears.â€ If you do and you become disappointed, just remember Sandler Rule #30: â€œYou Canâ€™t Lose Anything You Don’t Already Have.â€
By Veronica Truong, Marketing Coordinator for Top Tier Training & Development, a Sandler Training Center in Seattle, Washington.