Everyone has a sales pitch that they love to polish and occasionally bring out when they feel that the stakes are high. It may be a story or a way to explain a situation that you really think is going to push your sale over the edge. But sometimes there is more to a winning strategy than just what you may have to say. In fact, more often than not, the most important part of the conversation will be what the client is telling you.
There Will Be a Test
You may have heard the familiar advice that you should wait until someone is finished speaking before you begin to form your response. The reason that this is always recommended is that it allows you to better retain the information that is being said to you, so that you do not repeat yourself or miss the point entirely.
In sales, this is one of the best pieces of advice you can get for listening to clients; take the time to actively listen to what they are telling you before you offer a canned response or counterargument that may completely miss what they were trying to say.
Sometimes What Isn’t Being Said Is Important Too
Another helpful piece of advice, particularly for those in the hospitality industry, is that negative feedback tends to echo, but positive feedback may not. If you are not hearing a lot of complaints, or any for that matter, you may be doing exactly what your client is asking for, even if you are not getting a lot of compliments either. As long as you are doing your job properly, everything should run smoothly. Make a mistake, and you will know.
Putting Power in the Hands of Your Clients
It is not enough to just listen to the words and thoughts of your clients. Sometimes you have to also make sure that they know that they absolutely have to bring any problems to you, and that you will do what you can to remedy the situation. You can’t always count on negative feedback to know when something needs to be corrected. Clients have to be encouraged to be pro-active in their ability to tell you when something is wrong, which means that you have to make them feel comfortable enough to do so. With a properly established communication loop, you will never again have to guess whether or not your clients are happy.