Just listening isn’t enough – you should be a student of questioning.
In sales, mindsets are important, as they reflect how top producers THINK – how they approach their work with customers….how they “see” things. Our next book, The 12 Mindsets of a Rainmaker, explores the different mindsets of top producers. In this and upcoming posts, we will highlight brief overviews of some of these mindsets.
One of the mindsets that clearly differentiate top producers is the “LEARNING” mindset. While everyone in sales accepts the importance of learning, top producers take it to a superior level. They have a relentless thirst to learn. They genuinely see themselves as difference makers. They display an unbridled curiosity around everything that impacts the world of the customer and how their products and services fit in helping the customer achieve their objectives.
Top producers are inquisitive. They help their customers “discover” what can be. They are knowledge specialists. They seek ideas in unconventional places. They are avid readers of trends that are occurring in their industry and how those trends impact their customers’ businesses. They are persistent in tapping the genius and perspective of others, as those views provide them with insights that help identify new possibilities or the nuggets that can solve problems.
As a result, top learners advance their curiosity. They are students of questioning. They know that the more customers talk, the more they learn. And as a result, more customers will buy because they want to buy. One performer we met made it a quest to develop an extensive, industry-specific database of questions. For every business problem that her company’s products and services solved, she had prepared 5-7 thought provoking questions to get the dialog started. Coupled with pre-call research, these questions challenged the customer to think, and to consider things they had not thought of before. The result was that the customer’s impression of the salesperson was significantly higher than others and sales cycles were reduced significantly.
So, do you and your team have a learning mindset? Do you have the passion to learn? Are you making it an everyday habit? Are you a “teacher” with your customers? Do you have knowledge specialists on your team? Are you becoming a thought-leader? If you want to be a top producer, or develop a top producing sales team, cultivate a habit of curiosity every day. The payoff will be significant.
Think about it.
Carlos Quintero, founder of Sales Effectiveness, coaches senior executives who want to drive change with their sales teams. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 770-552-6612.