Sales Conversations that Matter

by | Business coaching, Customer Service, Sales

Perhaps one of the most important and often times forgotten skills is being aware of what is going on in the process during sales conversations. This is true in retail or business-to-business sales. Those who master the art of being aware of where the customer is and what they are looking for and how to match their needs to products or services will almost always become a top producer in sales.

Ask Great Questions

Asking great questions is the first key in becoming aware of what is going on in the prospect’s mind.  Of course, if you don’t have favorable attention or credibility through your questioning, then asking about wants and needs will fall flat. So make sure to establish rapport first. During the discovery of wants and needs the questions will be closely related to one another. After each question, pause to process the answer and then ask the next appropriate question. Each question should have a goal of identifying where the prospect is in the buying/selling process. Know what the prospect is thinking or you will find yourself in peril of losing the sale.

Listen and Shut Up

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. We need to listen twice as much as we talk. Few people want to listen to a mouthy pushy salesperson. Remember, it is all about the customer, not you. Build your relationship by listening and helping each customer solve his or her problems.

Ask For The Sale

Finally, do not be afraid or hesitant to ask for the sale once you have uncovered and matched the needs of the customer with your solutions. This is how you assist the buyer in making the right decision to fulfill their needs and wants.  Closing with a question like. “How many of these would you like?” or, “Should we box these up for you?” or “ Shall we start the project next Tuesday?” should seem natural.

Ask If There Is Anything Else

And finally, ask if there is anything else that you can help them with? This is important because:

  1. They may have forgotten something since you started the conversation
  2. The new purchase may have uncovered the need for something else
  3. Adding on to an existing sale is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to increase sales.

Be aware of how you’re holding conversations: asking questions, listening, asking for the sale and asking if there’s anything else. Watch your sales soar!

Please add to this conversation. What thoughts about your sales conversations would you like to share?

Jeri Quinn

Jeri Quinn from Driving Improved Results is an executive coach, management consultant, speaker and author who focuses on communication in her work with executives and companies. She is the author of The Customer Loyalty Playbook, 12 Game Strategies to Drive Improved Results in Your Business. With more than 40 years as a serial entrepreneur.

Quinn has worked with executives and teams in over 40 industries, spoken at major business expos including New York City’s Javits Center, facilitated business development and extraordinary customer service at institutions such as MoMA and AIG, and has partnered with New York City, The Kauffman Foundation, Citibank, Merrill Lynch, HSBC, and Signature Bank to educate their clients.


She can be reached at:

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