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What does a Salesperson and a Politician have in common?

17 Jun 2015 | By Maven TM Team

mark and An taoiseachAlthough evolving in totally different environments, politicians and salespeople share (at least) one quality that they need to master, if they want to be successful in their job.

Listening…..Listening is one of the most important aspects when it comes to both the duty of a politician and a salesperson. Simply hearing what someone has to say is not enough. Salespeople and politicians alike need to have strong listening skills, to make the conscious decision to interpret and process the information.

But what makes a good listener and what steps can your sales team take to enhance their skills in this regard?

The below can be applied at different stages of the sales process, including when trying to identify a sales opportunity with a new prospect or when building the relationship with a qualified potential customer.

  1. Asking the right questions

It all starts with opening questions, these that will trigger an interest and motivate the prospect to open up and share information. Ensure that your top 2 or 3 questions are open-ended questions (how, what…) and well-chosen so that you start understanding potential requirements or challenges that the business faces. During the conversation, asking questions also shows that you are interested in what your sales prospect is saying and want to know more.

  1. Receiving the information

When receiving the information from a prospect it is so important to absorb what they are saying. Take this time to let the prospect speak, pay attention to every point they make. Try to avoid any distractions as you may miss out on vital information disclosed. Do not interrupt the prospect, but do let them know you are listening (state the occasional “yes/I understand”). During this stage of the conversation, do not offer a pre-rehearsed response, this will dilute the quality of the conversation and lose the interest of the contact.

  1. Understanding the information

At this stage, your sales team should begin to process the information provided by the prospect. If there are any areas that are not clear, ask the prospect questions or perhaps ask them to elaborate further on certain points. When doing this it is important to rephrase parts of what the prospect has said, for example, “you mentioned X is causing a lot of problems, do you feel this is impacting Y?” Not only will this ensure that your sales person has understood the information correctly but also allows the prospect to know that each are on the same page.

  1. Remembering the information

Your sales team are not going to be able to remember every detail of every conversation they have with a prospect. Keeping note of key points and statements made by the prospect will really benefit your team for follow up conversations. If you’re using a CRM, your sales team need to ensure they are actively using it and updating each conversation according. Check out our blog on 5 Key Reasons Why Your Sales Team Should (Actively) Use Your CRM

  1. Evaluating the information gathered

We know that time is key, especially when talking to a new prospect. Not only do you need to be reactive in your communication (ie. calling back, sending requested documentation…), but you also need to think quickly during the conversation. What is the information really hidden behind the prospect’s questions or objections? If you are told ‘We are quite satisfied with our current solution’, try to direct the prospect to telling you what other benefits he/she would like to gain from such solution (what is the missing piece?). Your sales team should consider the issues and problem areas mentioned by the prospect and figure out whether the solution you provide can assist the prospect and fix the problem.

  1. Responding to the Prospect

It’s now your salesperson’s turn to speak and offer the prospect a solution to their issue. They need to be able to make this offering as personal as possible, re-instating what the prospect has said during the conversation and describing how your solution is going to help. This will greatly increase trust levels and also further cement your company as a respectable provider.

This all looks like a lot of work, especially when you may have only a short space of time to have a conversation with your prospects. However, this is a skill that salespeople will develop over time and implement without even realising.


At Maven TM, we provide specialised B2B Telemarketing and Sales Lead Generation services to technology companies. Our teams are experts in active listening, enabling us to identify pain points and offering a solution to suit your prospects’ needs. Contact us today at info@maventm.com to see how we can help you to uncover new sales opportunities.


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Topics: Sales Techniques, Technology Sales, Telemarketing Questions

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