Yes, I spent my hard earned allowance on “How to Make and Keep Friends.” While applying the nuggets of truth in this book to my life didn’t skyrocket me into middle school popularity like I had hoped, it did affect how I would relate and communicate to people for the rest of my life. Believe it or not, I use the main key I gained from this stellar read in my job as Formstack’s onboarding specialist to create repeat customers every day.
That main key is quite simple: SHUT UP AND LISTEN.
Shut up and listen because people love talking about themselves.
How easy is it to go on and on about your business while your customer’s eyes and ears glaze over? I know I have been guilty of this. And understandably…you and I both have awesome products to tell people about! But this much I know: people love talking about themselves. Customers will feel at ease and open up to you if you simply start asking questions about them. I mean, how easy is it to talk about yourself? And how often do you get to do it?
Ask your customers questions that don’t necessarily pertain to their product needs. In addition to the obvious questions about what they do in their organization or what their needs are, ask questions about the individual you are talking to. Find out what they truly care about. Find the point where you both relate and then connect with them. As humans, no matter how different we are, we ALL have connecting points. Even if it has something to do with fishing, how annoying it is when someone doesn’t use their turn signal, changing diapers, or their family cat.
Shut up and listen. Don’t sell – make a friend.
Stop selling to and at people. Stop it. No one enjoys that. Instead, make a friend. If this customer – and new friend – feels heard and connected they will end up trusting you. You obviously know your product, and by this point you now know them. You now get a window into how your amazing product can creatively and functionally add value to their lives and business. To top it off, you actually care about them!
I know without a doubt I have much to learn when it comes to sales technique. However, I am confident that the springboard of knowledge I am starting with is pretty solid. If I get the chance to talk to you someday about Formstack, do know that I will be using the knowledge I gained in my preteen years on you. And I actually care about you! Take it from the new girl on the onboarding sales block, SHUT UP AND LISTEN!