I plead guilty to enjoying a cold beer or two, and I’ve watched with amazement as the decade-long bull market in the craft beer industry shows no signs of abating.
This is the coolest sales and leadership strategy ever invented! It is completely revolutionary. It is rarely practiced. B2B marketers and sales leaders can use this to get people to follow you almost anywhere, and to get people to buy almost anything. It can change the course of your sales, your business and your life!
What is it you ask?
Make sure you are sitting down before I tell you.
OK, here it is…
It is called listening. Yes, not talking, just listening! There are many parables out there about this. Something like, “God gave us one mouth and two ears so we should be listening twice as much as we speak.” “I have never learned anything while talking.” Et cetera.
It wasn’t until I reached a point in my life that I became totally comfortable with who I am (instead of trying to be someone else), that I fully realized the absolute power that comes from listening. I mean real listening. Not just waiting for the other person to stop talking so I could then talk. The things you find out about business, customers, partners, employees, shareholders, competitors, etc., when you actually stop talking and listen to what people are saying is mind blowing.
I have seen hundreds of salespeople that meet a prospect for the first time and feel that they immediately have to launch into the “pitch” and never bother finding out what the prospect’s challenges are. When I go on a first time sales call, I will ask a couple of questions and then I shut up and listen. What I discover is that almost always:
The other big challenge I hear salespeople asking about all the time is “how do I get time with the executive or C-Suite decision makers?”
The answer is much simpler and less frustrating than you think or have been led to believe. And… it involves listening!
The people you are attempting to get an audience with care about “what’s in it for them?” Sorry to say this but they don’t care what you have to offer. They don’t care about your features and advantages. They care simply about how you can benefit them. How you can solve the challenges they have? That’s it, that’s all.
Executives like the sound of their own voice.
So… LISTEN! How do you get them to talk? Simple. The best executives are quite simple and transparent. In many ways, they are far easier to sell to or have rich conversations with than any other person on the org chart. They make decisions lightning fast when they see a clear path to getting a solution. Get good at asking big questions that zero in on the challenges they have and then listen. I guarantee they will give you the answer to how you need to position your solution!
Remember that most executives have real or job-induced ADHD. Their eyes will glaze over in 30 seconds if they realize you are there to sell something.
Here is my challenge to you:
Tell yourself that you have the right to be there because you have value to offer.
Robert Murray is a keynote speaker, international CXO, executive turnaround mercenary and the author of “It’s Already Inside: Nurturing Your Innate Leadership for Business and Life Success.” He blogs at