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Are You a Knower or a Learner When Selling?

By Tessa Stowe

Are you a knower when selling? When selling to a prospect do you assume that your products and services will solve their problem? Then, as soon as you can, you jump in and tell your prospect all about your products and services and what they will do for them. You feel that if you tell them enough, they will see how great your products and services are and that they will solve their problem.

Also when your prospect asks you any question, do you always give some sort of answer, even if you have to guess? You don't want them to think you don't know everything about your products and services because you feel you should know everything. You are afraid your image, in the eyes of your prospect, will be negatively impacted if you don't know the answers to their questions.

If you answered yes to either or both of these questions then you are a 'knower' when selling. Unfortunately being a knower when selling has several significant disadvantages as:

  • a prospect automatically distrusts a knower. A prospect distrusts someone who tells them how they can solve their problem when they don't even know what their problem is. It's the same as you walking into a doctor's office and before you have even sat down in his chair or uttered a word, he hands you a prescription and says "Take this and you'll feel better." Would you trust the doctor or the prescription?

  • when a prospect senses you are guessing when answering their questions they will distrust the answers you give. Plus they start to distrust everything you have said previously.

If you are a knower when selling, then trust will be low in your sales conversations. When trust is absent, the time and effort it takes to make a sale increases and the likelihood of actually making the sale decreases.

Are you a learner when selling? When selling do you make no assumptions about whether you can help your prospect solve their problem? You ask lots of questions so you can understand what their problem is and whether you can help them. Only once you know they have a problem you can solve do you then tell them about your products and services.

Also, if your prospect asks you a question for which you don't know, or aren't sure of, the answer do you simply tell them that you don't know? You promise to find out and get back to them (which you of course do). You know that giving your prospect the correct answer is far more important than your knowing everything about your products and services and looking good.

If you answered yes to either or both of these questions then you are a 'learner' when selling. Being a learner when selling has several advantages as:

  • people automatically tend to trust people who want to understand them and help them solve their problems.

  • people have more trust in someone who will admit when they don't know something. Also when someone admits they don't know something, it adds credence to everything that they've said previously.

If you are a learner, then trust will be high in your sales conversations. When trust is high, the time and effort it takes to make a sale decreases and the likelihood of making the sale increases.

If you are not already a learner when selling then here are five simple tips you can apply so you become a learner in a sales conversation.

Tip #1: Bring no assumptions to the sales conversation about whether you can or cannot solve your prospects' problem with your products and services.

Tip #2: Bring wonder to the sales conversation. Just before you have a sales conversation, say to yourself, "I wonder what I am going to learn in this conversation" or "I wonder if I can help this person."

Tip #3: Be curious. Ask lots of questions from a place of genuine and sincere curiosity.

Tip #4: Listen actively so you can learn as much as you can about your prospect.

Tip #5: Learn and implement a sales process which leads with an understanding phase versus a telling phase.

Implement these five simple tips and you'll effortlessly become a learner versus a knower when selling. When you become a learner when selling you'll find the level of trust you have with your prospect will be increased, the time and effort it takes to make a sale will be decreased and you'll be making a lot more sales.

Try it and see.

Read other articles and learn more about Tessa Stowe.

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