Want to be a better salesperson? The key to sales is in your brain.
7 Things We Can Learn About Sales From Neuroscience
#1. Focus on improving the quality of your questions.
The questions you ask are what guide your sales conversations. If you’re not asking the right questions, your sales conversations aren’t going to go where you want them to.
In an effective sales conversation, what you say matters a whole lot less than how well you listen. And, when you ask the right questions, you can foster a listening-focused conversation.
When it’s your turn to speak, try to limit yourself to no more than four sentences. After about four sentences, your customer will become a lot less engaged.
#2. Work out the kinks in your conversation.
There are certain parts of a typical sales conversation that can get a little bit clunky. Learning to work out the kinks makes for a smoother sales conversation.
One commonly clunky part of a typical sales conversation is the first part of the conversation. This point of the conversation can be slightly awkward, but you can help to work out the kinks by knowing which questions you’re going to ask.
Oftentimes, low close-ratios come down to clunky beginnings. The first part of your conversation sets the stage for everything else.
Transitions are another area of a sales conversation that can be clunky. Think about how you’re going to make the transition from asking questions to talking about the product, and eventually, to completing the transaction.
#3. You don’t have to be an extravert to be a great salesperson.
I’ve always thought that you had to be an extravert to be a great salesperson, but turns out, even introverts can make highly effective salespeople.
There are, however, a few traits all great salespeople do have in common:
- Genuine curiosity
- The ability to ask questions
- Concise storyteller
Pro Tip – Typically, when organizations interview salespeople, they handle it like any other interview, with the interviewer asking questions and the interviewee answering them. Since making sales is all about your ability to ask the right questions, flip the interview on its head, allowing them to show you the quality of their questions.
#4. Practice your plays.
Every salesperson has their go-to plays. These are your go-to stories, your top 10 questions, and your transitions are all plays. And, just as winning sports teams practice their plays, so should you.
Practice your plays over and over again — while you’re getting ready for the day, while you’re in the car, and when you’re on a jog. The more you practice your plays, the better you’ll perform them on game-day, leading more smoother, more natural sales conversations.
When you’re practicing your plays, do so while you’re moving. When you’re sitting still, you’re only activating one hemisphere of your brain, but when you move, you’re activating your entire brain. This helps you to engage more with what you’re learning, which will help you use it more effectively.
#5. Understand your role in the process.
A lot of salespeople see what they do as giving their customers the push they need to make a purchase. However, the fact of the matter is that, most of the time, your customers have already mostly made up their minds about what they want to do.
As a salesperson, it’s not so much your role to push your customers to make a purchase as it is to help them identify what’s missing in their decision-making process. You do this by asking questions about what’s brought them to this point in the process.
Since your customers’ minds are already made up, for the most part, it’s important to ask questions and to listen. If you’re too aggressive with your sales pitch, you can actually end up talking your customers out of making a purchase.
#6. Trust is what separates the good salespeople from the bad ones.
Establishing trust is a hugely important part of the sales process, especially right now. If someone thinks you’re trying to push them into a product, regardless of whether they may or may not need it, it will make them run the other way.
There are lots of ways to build trust with your customers, but nothing builds trust quite like listening does. If a salesperson sees a customer as a boost to their sales quota, they rush through the conversation, because they want to move on to the next one quickly. But, when a salesperson takes the time to listen, it shows that they care.
Be cognizant of your sales conversations, and be aware of how much of your time you’re spending talking versus listening to the customer. In an effective sales conversation, the customer should be talking 75 percent of the time.
When a salesperson monopolizes the conversation and talks too much, it takes away from their ability to truly understand the customer’s needs. And, if a salesperson isn’t taking the time to understand a customer’s needs, they’re going to have a hard time convincing them that they care about those needs.
#7. Sales and marketing go hand in hand.
Too often, organizations see marketing and sales as two separate entities. But, the truth is that they are two sides of the same coin that very much affect one another.
When salespeople are having conversations with their customers, listening to their needs and pain points, and helping to guide decisions in order to meet those needs, they’re uncovering a lot of invaluable data in real time that can be used to inform the marketing.
Effective marketing is about identifying the problems that the product in question solves, and there’s no better way to identify what those problems are than through the information gathered in sales conversations.
By not fully understanding the sales process and how to ask the right questions to move it along, a lot of salespeople undermine their own efforts. Hopefully, this blog has helped to shed a little light on it and help you get it right.
Sales are critical for any business’s success, but they don’t happen until you get them in the door. Digital marketing is what drives your customers to your door, making it a critical part of the sales journey.
Learn how we can help you make the most of your digital marketing budget today.