November 2016

Shhh! How many times did you hear this during the course of your life? Parents shushing you to keep quiet. Teachers shushing you to stop talking in the classroom. You shush people at a theatre so you can enjoy the movie. For those of us who went to school pre-Wikipedia days, the library was the main center for shushing. We could barely sneeze in a library without the looks coming at us.  During the course of our lives we just need those quiet times and must tell others Shhh!

Simon & Garfunkel had a famous song back in 1965 called The Sound of Silence. For those of us into folk rock at that time, it became a classic. That genre of music made us to delve into the meaning of the lyrics which of course was interpreted differently by everyone. There are 2 lines of this song are relevant to the world of sales:

People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening

In today’s world of instant everything, silence tends to make people uneasy. Almost everyone wants to break a moment of silence by saying something…anything.  If there is no one to talk to, then we divert our attention to our electronic gadgets to call, text or fb someone. Constant communication is the norm of the day. There does not appear to be time for silence any more. 

 This can be a very harmful habit for sales professionals. During the course of viewing our clients’ Video Profiles, I have seen sales agents checking their Smart Phone or iPhone while they are with a prospective buyer. Really? Is what’s on your device more important than who is in front of you? Does your prospective buyer’s silence mean they don’t have questions or are not in need of your full attention? Of course if an agent needs to monitor their phone for a critical call or text, then let your prospective buyer know how important it is. Otherwise you are not making your buyer feel like a valued customer.

A prospective buyer’s silence does not mean some issue or concern is not being mulled over. Some people just need more time to think something through before asking a question. Agents need to get comfortable with silence and it does take practice to allow for pauses. Agents’ DNA requires them to be in control and most are tempted to jump into immediate conversation when there is a pause. While an agent can’t allow the silence to progress for a long time, short time outs are highly effective. The buyer might not like the sound of silence either and start the questions or conversation again thereby providing you with some valuable information.

People talking without speaking. Sales agents get caught up in their sales presentation talking points. While a sales platform is necessary, every sales professional must discover how to speak to their prospective buyer. You have heard this before…one size does not fit all. Sales presentations need to be tailored to the buyer standing before you. Otherwise your sales presentation becomes information dumping. While an agent must be efficient in the time spent with a buyer, learning what and how to deliver your information, what information to get from your buyer, and how you obtain that information, is just as critical. It is seldom the same for all buyers. Agents must allow for pauses in their sales presentations to get a read on how their buyer is internalizing or processing the information you are providing them. Then you are speaking vs. talking. In short, you are having a discussion with an easy exchange of information between the agent and the buyer. And never talk over your buyer. Allow them to finish their question or statement even though you have heard that same question or statement a thousand times before.

People hearing without listening. Each sales professional must convey to each buyer that not only do you hear their statements and questions, but you are actually listening to what they are saying. This requires you allow the necessary time to hear the buyer out. This is how trust is built. If you are not sure about a buyer’s statement or question, then ask a clarifying question. This conveys the message that not only are you listening, but you care enough about them as an individual and they are not just a ‘traffic unit’.

Managers when is the last time you verified your agents listening to their buyers? Are they having a discussion with them or just talking? Do you need to tell some of them Shhh!  LeBlanc & Associates will be your partner to confirm what you need to know. Our Video Profiles will document the message being conveyed and how it is conveyed. Our comprehensive reports will provide the valuable insight to an effective sales presentation. It’s easy. Give us a call! We are listening to your concerns

Top 10 Most Friendly Cities in America
What makes a city friendly? Here are some of the facts that put these locations on the list: welcoming locals, southern hospitality, and feeling like the people there are easily approachable. Besides the characteristics of the local people, these cities also draw visitors because of their music scenes, night life, arts and culture, quiet and relaxing surroundings, and beautiful outdoor areas to name a few
1. Park City, Utah
2. Savannah, Georgia
3. Charleston, South Carolina
4. Nashville, Tenessee
5. Austin, Texas
6. New Orleans
7. Asheville, North Carolina
8. Albuquerque, New Mexico
9. Jackson, Wyoming
10. Minneapolis, Minnesota