by Randy Sabourin
A sales conversation can be a beautiful thing; it can flow, it can be fun, and it can pay the bills. It can also establish creditability, build trust and become the catalyst for a relationship of mutual respect. But it can also be heavy lifting, it can feel like a battle, it can be full of frustration, and you can walk away feeling further behind. And though both parties are responsible for the outcome, the salesperson is accountable for its success.
I’ve personally conducted, observed and coached thousands of sales conversations: successful and otherwise. For over 17 years, our organization has helped salespeople practice hundreds of thousands of sales conversations. We’ve tracked the performance of every salesperson in every one of these conversations. Through this process, we have also coached on every conceivable sales model and process in every market in North America and around the world.
With all this qualitative and quantitative data I can say that the two most important skills (and the two that are often performed worst) are curiosity and empathy. Continue reading