For the past year, I’ve been planning to write my 3rd book, and I have been busily collecting information, writing outlines, copying valuable quotes and information and building several files (paper based as well as electronic) on my topic.
Many of you have already read and used the advice I wrote about in my first two books:
— Precision Selling: 21 winning strategies to achieve Peak Performance
— Find Lost Revenue: Uncover hidden causes to Common Sales &
And I’m happy to add that ALL of the comments were positive!
I decided over a year ago that my next book would be an evolution of my thoughts regarding sales and sales management, and this book would be devoted to the “higher side” of selling. Some would call this the mental side, some would call it spiritual, and some might term it attitudinal. At any rate, my third book was intended to be an innovative and fresh look at how we might use the considerable power of our minds to create positive outcomes in sales and management.
Along the way, I discovered that I was researching a book about Life, not just sales. In fact, I was researching topics that were core to living a successful life in general. I also realized that I needed help, and that’s where you come in!
I am inviting all of you, my subscribers, fans, and supporters to contribute to the effort. Today, I’m launching a new blog series dedicated to the Art and Science of Listening, and I’m inviting all of you to participate and contribute to the action. I’m calling the blog series “The Active Listener,” and I am planning to post at least one article a week on this important topic.
Below is my first post. I hope you enjoy this article and the series. If you don’t please tell me! And if you like the series forward it to your friends and share your comments, observations, and suggestions!
The Active Listener Series
Blog Post #1
When I first envisioned writing this book, it was intended for salespeople and sales managers because that’s who I’ve been working with practically all of my adult life. After coaching, training, managing, mentoring and baby-sitting salespeople for over 30 years, I felt uniquely qualified to write a book which explained in very explicit terms the biggest problem that all salespeople suffer from.
Please note that I wrote “the biggest problem”, singular case.
How would you like to know, with certainty, the single common denominator of every lost sale you’ve ever experienced? What would it mean if you could understand fully the “hidden reasons” for a lack of sales performance? If you are managing a sales organization, what would be the impact if you suddenly understand the single biggest reason for poor performance by your salespeople, and your managers?
I’ll give you the simple truth right now:
The problem you and practically every salesperson and manager in the world suffer from is Failure to Listen.
Let me repeat that, because I’m almost positive it didn’t yet register:
Failure to Listen.
“No,” you’re thinking. “I’m not an idiot, it can’t be that simple. There must be another reason. I’ve preached the value of listening to my troops for years, and I’m certain they got the message. My people listen, I’m positive of it. I’ve watched them during sales calls, I’ve listened to their sales presentations, I’ve seen them close deals. Maybe some other sales organizations have this problem, but we don’t. We’ve trained our people to listen, I’m certain of it. If we’re losing sales, it’s because of something else. We don’t have this problem. You’re wrong about this.”
I will repeat this truth once again. It is absolute, irrevocable, and undeniably true in every single case:
Failure to close sales is directly caused by a Failure to listen.
My purpose in writing this blog, which will eventually turn into a book, is to prove, beyond doubt, the veracity of that statement. We will examine the extent of this problem, and discuss the impact it has on your organization. Then we will explain the complete anatomy of listening and will break out all the gradient steps necessary to master the art of listening. We’ll also include exercises, drills, techniques, surveys, and questionnaires designed to keep you involved and contributing.
During my career, I’ve managed or coached thousands of salespeople in a variety of industries. For a long time I believed, like you probably do, that there were many common reasons for sales failure:
— failure to close
— lack of product knowledge
— selling to the wrong customers
— giving up
— lack of training
However, I’ve discovered that all of these apparent “reasons” are simply symptoms of the main problem: Failure to Listen.
I also discovered another interesting fact. Failure to Listen is not just a problem with salespeople. It’s a problem with managers, top executives, politicians, doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, students, parents and spouses. It affects clergymen, CPA’s, Bankers, professors, psychiatrists and janitors. It’s factually an affliction that is common to every human being on this planet.
Would you like to know more? Then continue reading The Active Listener Series.
Your Comments, suggestions, and ideas are most welcome!