I recently went into an eating establishment to order some food. Now, I go to this place regularly and usually don't have many issues if any at all. I went in this particular morning and ordered my usual breakfast and then the young man, taking my order, asked me if I just wanted the sandwich and drink to which I replied no I'd like the meal. Then he repeated my order and then inserted "medium Coke" to which I replied no a "medium coffee". Now, I really don't get upset or frustrated about things like this because I usually use them to train on. I usually try to use them to apply to what I do for a living.
The first thing I noticed about the young man is the fact that he is "training" and probably hasn't been doing it long. And I for sure will agree that working in fast food is definitely not easy especially when you are busy and getting backed up and everyone is staring at you wondering when they are going to get their food. So I definitely wasn't going to get mad. I automatically thought of the sales industry, auto sales in particular, and how often we do this same exact thing.
We have a particular process we use at our dealership and train everyone to follow it. It begins with the meet and greet and then goes into the interview process. Now, these two steps are vitally important to any sales position because this is where you learn about the customer and start to find out what you need to sell them. If you are not really "listening" to them at this point you could lose a deal whether it's right away or at the end. If you are not really paying attention to them you could miss important information that could lead to you putting them on the wrong product or showing them the wrong item.
You might ask "Is that really that big of a deal if I show them the wrong item or product?" to which I would respond "YES". I answer the question that way simply because a customer looks at you as the professional and they expect you to have all the answers even if you don't know all the answers. They look to you to show them what they need instead of showing them the wrong product altogether. Sometimes you lose trust and credibility and sometimes it blows over and is no big deal. But why must you risk the possibility of losing a customer because you were too busy or not interested enough in them to listen to what they want and what their concerns are? Keep in mind that you may even sale the particular customer but do they send you referrals and do you get their repeat business? Both important questions to note.
If you don't "listen" to your customers and "hear" what they are saying then you could also lose vital time. If you want to sell more than one car a day, for example, then you must be able to utilize your time and that includes being efficient with each and every customer and opportunity that presents itself to you. If you don't then you could find yourself spending way more time on a deal than you probably need to and if you do end up selling the customer you may not leave yourself time to do much else that you need to be doing. Now, when I'm talking about time you must be considerate of the customer's time as well. It's not all about you. If they come to see you then you must be prepared to handle the customer in an appropriate amount of time so you definitely must be able to "listen" and pay close attention to each and every opportunity.
I could write much more on this topic but the whole point is that if you want to be successful in sales, not short term but long term, you must be able to listen to every customer and apply what they say to your process so that it'll end with the results you want it to. If you can, listen to everything that is going on around you too. Who knows?, you might even pick up something from someone else that may help you grow in your craft.
Thanks for reading!
Fist Pump Guy Out!