Richard Maun – NASA

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Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation


Sales Skills #2 …Send Or Receive?

21 November 2010

You need two-way communications to survive!

You need two-way communications to survive!

Calling Houston… Calling Houston… Are you receiving me, over? *static hiss and crackle* Houston…are you receiving, over? *more static* Houston COME IN PLEASE! *silence*

If you’ve seen Apollo 13, where the trip to the moon is aborted after the astronauts realise they forgot to pack a nickel for the fresh-oxygen-vending-machine, this kind of frantic radio call for help will be familiar to you. Luckily, in Apollo 13, they were assisted by some Blue Peter trained NASA technicians who were able to lash up a toilet roll tube and some sticky back plastic to a pair of Val’s own knickers (old 70’s gag) and solve the problem.

Now, this is all very exciting, but what’s the link with sales?

Well, when you’re with a potential client and making your pitch it’s tempting to be on ‘send’ and simply rattle off information. This is a common trap to fall into, particularly if you’re at a networking meeting, attempting to get to know a new person and make a good impression. Just because someone says ‘tell me about yourself’ remember that you don’t have a green light to babble on for 20 minutes….

…If you’re on ‘send’ the other person is likely to be getting frustrated at your constant stream of delivery. It’s much better to talk for a minute and then stop and ask them a question, in order to get them talking.

You can now enjoy being on ‘receive’ which means they are feeling good, because being listened to is a positive stroke.

So therefore, one way to improve your sales skills is simply to spend more time on ‘receive’ than you do on ‘send’. It’s a tiny tip, but when you’re lost in space it can make all the difference.

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Interview Skills in The Guardian

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Next Week

We will continue with some sales skill tips…if you run your own business this series is here to help!

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