There are two kinds of people in the world, there are those that talk a lot and listen a little, and there are those that listen a lot and talk a little. My grandmother used to say that God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason; that you should listen twice as much as you talk. I believe this applies to business in every aspect of every business. But it is especially important in sales. I have experienced so many sales people who start the conversation out talking, and you all know the type, fast talking, smooth, trying to close the deal. For me a huge turn off. I have said it time and again; a good salesperson is one that actually listens to what the customer is saying.
Just shut up and listen. In sales if you start the conversation talking and giving information to the customer or prospect it is possible to give too much information or to give unnecessary information. Let the customer talk, let them tell you what they want, what their expectations are, and then you can address those issues and advise them what you can do for them. Give them solutions that are directly correlated to what they want. Nobody likes an obvious sales pitch, and when you start out spewing what you can do for the customer and how great your products or services are, it just sounds like a cheap sales pitch and that you are just trying to make a sale. However, when you let the customer do the talking and you listen to what they are saying, and understand their needs and wants and then respond appropriately giving them solutions to those needs and wants you now come across as the person with the solution because you are responding directly to what they have said.
As a salesperson you are already starting out at a disadvantage because most people distrust you and already have their guard up and are dubious about whatever you have to say. But by encouraging them to talk, getting them to tell you what they want, why they want it, you are now responding to their needs and by responding to those needs you are now transformed from a salesperson to a solution provider. Create an atmosphere that is forged in trust and you will create a customer for life.