When you get your prospects to talk about themselves, you learn about their needs, make them more comfortable, and feel good about you. Here are five techniques for your sales associates.
1. Use broad questions. Questions that call for a yes/no or other specific response won’t get you enough information. So, you need to ask questions like, “How did you come to live where you are now?” rather than “How long have you lived around here?” You can always follow-up an answer with “tell me more about that” in order to stimulate additional conversation.
2. Listen….really listen. Give the prospective buyer your undivided attention. You’ll learn about the prospect from what is said, how it’s said, body language and more. You’ll subconsciously give off signals that you’re listening intently and therefore are truly interested in what the person has said. Being dealt with as an individual is important to all ages but Boomers more so.
Give permission so you reassure them. Prospects sometimes feel reluctant to tell you things for a wide variety of reasons. When you recognize that, you need to give permission as the occasion arises by reassuring them that it’s okay to talk about the subject. An easy way to give permission is to say something like, “A lot of people like yourself I work with feel that way” or “a lot of people have that issue.”
3. Prospects are “professional consumerologist.” Boomers with a history of buying experiences will often get more information from your facial expressions than from your words. Be sincere but also learn to project your sincerity. You might try practicing with a mirror as you use supportive verbal expressions or otherwise express interest and encouragement.
Watch your body language. Your body as well as your face should reflect sincere interest. Sit up straight. Make eye contact. Lean forward to show increased interest. Tighten your torso and arms and legs while listening to demonstrate your attention.
4. Slow down your rate of speaking. Associates, especially younger ones, tend to talk and move faster than most Boomers and older prospects. It’s a put-off to older generations. Try to slow yourself to their pace in both speech and actions.
Be positive and confident. Always reflect a positive view of yourself and your ability to help the prospect. Your prospects want to deal with someone who is confident in his/her ability to help.
5. Acknowledge the prospect’s issues or goals by restating them. Prospects cannot know you understand their needs unless you allow them to tell you. They are not clairvoyant. When a prospect says, “I am worried about relocating to a location like your residential community,” you need to respond, “You’re concerned about moving to a community like this,” and then move to an appropriate selling point. Sometimes, the nature of their issue or goal won’t be clear, so you need to clarify things with, “can you tell me more about it?”