Inspires attention in conversation

ENGAGING - Inspires attention in conversation

Hari turned away from the laptop screen and smiled at the Sales Coach. “So, how did I do?”

The Sales Coach gave him a thumbs up from the far end of the conference table, away from the camera. “Great show, Hari, specially considering this is only your second virtual Customer call. You did a good job. Some observations: 1) When the Customer was distracted by his doorbell, you talked right through it 2) Did you notice that thrice, the Customer paused, as if thoughtfully. Instead of waiting for her to resume, you interrupted her thought. And from thereon she just switched off. 3) Your laptop screen had notifications pop-up with annoying beeps. You got distracted, and missed a positive hint she gave you about the competition. 4) Your call ended rather abruptly, as if you were in a hurry to finish. Let’s review sit down over tea and review how to get even better”

Conversation is a gift with successful salespeople. Formal sales conversation however, isn’t simple small talk. Accomplished sales professionals know people have limited attention spans. So, they steer clear of distractions, and inspire attention, keeping the conversation focused and purposeful. They watch out to stay clear of..

The 4D’s that can derail a good sales conversation:

D1 - Disturbances – From external sources. Like, a door bell. Tip: Don’t talk through it, wait till it is over and resume after confirming where you stopped.

D2 – Distracted Customer – Customer thinking of something else or mentally disagreeing with you. Tip: In a virtual meeting, pause and smilingly ask “Thinking something?“ On a conference call, pause and say "Am pausing to listen to your feedback and answer queries“ Ask a question – “How do your rate your last purchase?”

D3 - Distracted Salesperson Showing signs like fidgeting with things, excessive hand movements and gestures, repeated use of word tags, constant urge to check the phone, irritating pop-ups. Tip: Seek candid feedback from Customers, managers and colleagues and practice staying focused and positive in conversations.

D4 - Dysfunctional conversation habits – Examples: (a)Tendency to go “Umm” when stuck for ideas or words (b) Faking an unnatural accent (c) Interrupting when the Customer is speaking Tip: Check if you are into any of them and after becoming self-aware, simply let go of them through conscious efforts

Accomplished Sales Professionals use the Virtual Enhancers to their advantage – (1) Like trained TV anchors they look at the camera, not the screen (2) Infuse cadence and emotion into their voices (3) Make intelligent use of chat (4) Demonstrate 100% focus and presence. Stay away from temptation to multi-task or check notifications and mails

While completing a Customer call, they always conclude the conversation with something that is of special interest to the Customer. It could be Sport, weather, music, food or even a simple question on where he comes from. It always generates an interesting and enjoyable exchange. Accomplished sales professionals always inspire attention, because they never forget to bring some joy as well.

Action Question: What are your top two distractions during a Customer Call? How can you avoid them in your next conversation?

Related Reading: Mercuri Insight Document on Effective Sales Communication – 5 Stages & 7 Traps

About the series: This is the 17th in a series of 100 Posts that seek to build your #Sales Resilience.. as an individual salesperson, as a sales team, and as a sales organization. Because a Resilient India needs Resilient Sales.


17.JOYFUL: Enjoys selling for reasons beyond deals won

Have you experienced the 'Joy of Selling'? Doing so is imperative to unlock your #Sales Resilience. In that experience you find the energy that fuels you up when you are in the trenches. How do you get to enjoy selling?

July 20, 2020Read more


19.OUTGOING: Reaches out to Customers wherever they are

Are you challenged by 'going out' to meet Customers? You are not alone. 'Going out' may be passe. Does that mean you cannot make as many #sales calls?

May 27, 2020Read more