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B2B Sales Prospecting: Remember to Finish Listening!


Sales Prospecting Finish ListeningAG Salesworks is pleased to bring you a guest post from Jeff Shore, an in-demand sales expert, author, speaker and executive coach. 

“Most people do no listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply.”

~Stephen R. Covey

Perhaps when you were a child, someone in your life tried to emphasize the importance of listening by reminding you that we each have two ears and one mouth. According to the well-known saying, we have two ears and one mouth in order that we might listen twice as much as we speak. There’s a lot of truth to that idea, and never more so than when a buyer raises objections during the sales process.

It is important to remember that when a buyer raises objections, they are not complaining, but are asking you, the sales professional, for help.

A common mistake that sales professionals make is to believe they know where a buyer is going with an objection before the person has even finished speaking. The temptation is to be formulating an answer to a question that hasn’t yet been asked. When you are busy putting together an answer in your head, you are no longer fully listening. In doing this, you risk losing your connection with the buyer. (People can tell when they are not being listened to!) And, if you jump the gun and assume you fully understand what a buyer is asking before clarifying anything with them, you risk even more.

Rushing to respond to an objection before fleshing it out is asking for trouble.

If you assume to understand what is troubling a buyer based on one small objection and hurry to respond to what they have (barely) said, you could very likely create new and bigger problems. Here’s how that works: The buyer starts to mention an objection and feeling like you’ve heard that particular remark a thousand times before, you all but cut them off with what you believe is the pertinent information they need to alleviate their worries.

But, you could be wrong... because you don’t actually know what their worries really are... because you didn’t finish listening! So, by trying to solve a problem that you don’t fully understand, you may inadvertently plant the seed for more concerns and objections.

The way to avoid this trap is to cut yourself off, internally, when you are tempted to rush in. Instead, ask your buyer a question like “Would you tell me more about that?” when they raise an objection. Everyone, everywhere likes to be listened to and a buyer with objections will respond positively to a sales professional who makes an effort to understand their concerns in depth vs. assuming they have all the answers.

Buyers aren’t making things up when they raise objections. They have reasons for their concerns that are unique to them and it is your job to understand where they are coming from.

Encourage your buyers to tell you more so that you can finish listening. 

Jeff Shore is a highly sought-after sales expert, speaker, author and executive coach whose innovative BE BOLD methodology teaches you how to change your mindset and change your world.For more than three decades, Jeff has guided executives and sales teams in large and small companies across the globe to embrace their discomforts and deliver BOLD sales results. In a crowded field of sales experts and training programs, Jeff Shore stands out with his research-based BE BOLD methodology. Combining his extensive front-line sales experience with the latest Cognitive Behavioral Therapy research, Jeff has created a highly effective, personalized way to reset sales paradigms and deliver industry-leading results. Jeff doesn’t just teach you how to sell, he shows you how to change your mindset and change your world.His latest book, "Be Bold and Win the Sale: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone and Boost Your Performance," (McGraw-Hill) was published in January, 2014. Learn more at and follow Jeff on Twitter.

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