Your Greatest Allies: Time and Information

There are two elements that you must befriend in any selling activity: time and information – with an emphasis on information.

Whether a buyer or seller, the one who has the most information and who is under the least time pressure will always have the advantage. In this way, time and information can be your greatest ally or your biggest weakness in any negotiation.

And the only way to make both of them your friends is simple to state but difficult to accomplish. It is done by active listening, meaning that you listen with all of your senses.

Time is a factor that can work for you or against you. In general, adding time to the selling process is your enemy, as the longer it takes to move it though the process, the greater likelihood there is for some unforeseen element to appear and scuttle your efforts. But, at the same time, forcing the sale to conform to your time constraints will often create sales resistance that wasn’t there before.

Ideally, each individual and each sale has its own pace that both parties feel comfortable with.  If you are listening actively, the client will tell you precisely what time factors are important or unimportant to them.  Pay attention.

On an equal level of importance, information (or the lack of) can also be friend or foe. In general, the more information you can acquire, the more likely you will be able to align your selling pace to the comfort of the customer, and bring the sale to a mutually beneficial close.

It’s said over and over that a major element in success in selling is the ability to ask questions and listen attentively. I cannot emphasize this enough. The buyer will nearly always tell you what their hot buttons are; whether it is their painful areas, or what their real purposes are for buying; they will tell you.

They may not say the words exactly or openly, but they are always letting you know in subtle (and often not so subtle ways), exactly what you need to do to close the sale. But you MUST be listening, carefully and actively.

As I’ve written before, the best way to convince others is with your ears.

Research their market, their company, and the person by whatever means available. Listen to what the buyer is saying and listen to what they are not saying. Sometimes valuable information will come from some very unlikely sources. Be constantly alert, constantly aware, with your ears and eyes wide open to gather all the information you can get about any potential sale.

Assuming you know best about either time or information on the part of the potential customer is a deadly flaw in any sales process – as it is with any communication between people. You will be far better served to assume that you don’t know and then ask questions and actively listen to what they say.

Make time and information your best friends and constant companions.

Engaging in active listening and being interested in the customer more than you are yourself will pay greater returns that you can imagine, effortlessly.

daniel w. jacobs
(c) 2009-2030, all rights reserved


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