Saturday, May 31, 2014

Sales Joke of the Day (May 30) Listening.

A salesman from Apple and a salesman from IBM occupy offices in the same building.  The Apple salesman was in his thirties, the IBM salesman was in his sixties.  They rode the elevator together on the way home from work after an unbelievably hot, sticky day.  The younger Apple salesman was dressed in business casual, a neat looking Apple golf shirt was tucked into his pair of black dress pants.   The IBM rep was wearing his corporate issued dark blue business suit, equipped with standard white shirt and IBM blue tie affixed with the customary Windsor knot.

The Apple salesman was completely exhausted, and he noted with some resentment that his competitor, the more senior IBM salesman, was as fresh as a  daisy.  "I don't understand," marveled the Apple salesman in the elevator that day.  "How can you listen to customers all day long, from morning till night, on a day like this, and still look so spry and unbothered when it's over?"

The older IBM salesman replied simply, "Who listens?"

Moral of the story.   True sales professionals know that listening to customers is key to success.   You stay in touch with the marketplace, with customer needs and find out about the competition by listening.  If a customer for one moment suspects that you are not listening, they will assume that you don't care about their business and they will take that business elsewhere.   Soon by not listening, your company's phones will stop ringing, and sales will ground to a halt.   Most people think you get ahead in business by speaking up.   On the contrary, you really learn a lot more and rise a lot faster by listening up!  Can you hear what I'm saying today people?  (Just kidding.)

"Effective listeners remember that "words have no meaning - people have meaning." The assignment of meaning to a term is an internal process; meaning comes from inside us. And although our experiences, knowledge and attitudes differ, we often misinterpret each others' messages while under the illusion that a common understanding has been achieved."         -  Larry Barker