I have for many years stated the sales profession is the most sophisticated position in today’s business world. Therefore, the sales position requires the most sophisticated people to succeed in today’ business environments.
One trait that stands out for an effective b2b sales person is Curiosity.
Why curiosity you ask? Good question. The reason curiosity is so important is due to the changing nature of b2b sales. No longer is the memorized sales presentation effective with most buyers and decision makers. The buyers and decision makers have changed and the b2b sales person has to change to meet this new challenge.
Being curious is an important element for successful questioning methods. Yes, you can learn the structured questioning methods taught by many sales development processes, yet, what do you do when the buyer or decision maker does not follow the script?
Now being curious comes into play. A curious person will ask more questions to get to the real answer or to get clarity on what is being said. This includes the “underworld” of communication – meta-talk.
Meta-talk is the ability to read between the lines of the communication and recognizing the fact something is missing. Based upon what is being said, there is something than should be included in the conversation. Then the curious begin to ask clarifying questions to uncover the missing link – which in many cases is the key to unlocking the sale with this customer or prospect.
Get curious in your research of customer accounts – look for answers to your mental questions or actually call a contact at the account and ask them about your concern. Another method is to read sales books and articles on sales. When you see a topic mentioned in print and you are not familiar with the topic – then research the topic and learn the meaning and how it is applied.
The key is to learn about things, gain information to give yourself an edge, pay attention and listen – since you never know how it help or impact you. And that goes both ways. Not taking the time to learn when the little voice in your head says “what is this about?” that is a clue to a future need to know.
Get curious about things, customers, industry trends and major economic news. The answers will help you to be better prepared than your competitor who is waiting for someone to give them the information at a meeting or conference or worst – a company memo or email.
So your b2b sales tip is to gain a competitive advantage by cultivating an attitude of curiosity.