As a sales expert, to listen or not to listen is not even a valid question. The mantra that sales gurus offer all the time is, “Listen, listen, and listen!” Listening shows empathy, understanding, and builds rapport. Most of the time, great listening skills are what seals the deal for a sales rep.

Entrepreneur Abraham Khader of Tustin, California, is the recipient of the Million Dollar Round Table award for his outstanding performance as an insurance broker and sales expert. He attributes his success to a large degree to his listening abilities. Abraham Khader details the importance of listening when working in sales. 

Active Listening

Active listening is an art. And like every art, it needs practice as well as aptitude. It’s more than just a potential customer talking while the sales rep lets them go on. Through listening, the salesperson gets to understand where the customer is coming from and how to pitch an offer to them.

According to Abraham Khader, listening is the first step towards winning the customer over. “You start by truly listening to the customer,” he says. “You’re tuned in to the words they say and their body language as well. When the customer volunteers a piece of information, you feed it back to them. They want to hear it from you. This builds trust and shows you’re both on the same page.”

Listening also involves asking questions. This shows that the salesperson is fully involved in the conversation. These questions help clarify the issues and also progress the meeting towards presenting the solution that the sales rep has to offer. 

Avoid Misunderstandings

As every salesperson will admit, the road to a successful sale is fraught with obstacles and perils. At any moment, the client might change their mind, or a small misunderstanding can end the sales pitch right then and there.

Miscommunication is a common problem when people talk and do not try to listen to what the other is saying. For a sales expert, says Abraham Khader, miscommunication is the bane of a successful business deal. And it’s often the result of bad listening skills.

A salesperson who picks the cues from the client’s words, tailors the response, and nudges the conversation toward the pitch has a better chance of finishing the sale than one who’s tone-deaf to the customer and their needs.

Abraham Khader’s Final Thoughts

Listening removes many of the hurdles in the way of the sales rep as they work their way toward the next successful sale. With listening comes understanding and empathy which are both important qualities in the world of sales.

While it’s important to note that listening on its own won’t close a sale, says Abraham Khader, it’s about knowing both when to talk about products and services and when to stop talking and listen to the customer.