Customers want to be heard, and equally as important, understood.
— Shep Hyken (@Hyken) January 23, 2014
As a salesperson, you’re constantly told that you need to listen to what your customer needs instead of just talking at them and drowning them out. That’s definitely true—how are you supposed to be an effective salesperson if you can’t address their specific needs?
Instead of simply listening to the customer, you should really aim to understand them. When client-facing employees actually understand their customers, they have a better idea of how to help their customer achieve their goals and, therefore, a better chance of making the sale.
What I mean by “understanding” is this: you can hear what the client is saying, but do you really know why they’re saying it? You need to be familiar with what’s going on in their business; once you can put their pain points in context you can help your customer use your product in such a way that will give them the most benefit.