top-secret sales skill

This sales skill is not really a secret, but it might as well be! It’s incredibly effective and almost nobody is using it!

So, this sales skill isn’t really a secret, but in our many years of consulting even the most sophisticated companies don’t seem to know it.
One of the sales and marketing services we offer to aviation companies is “mystery shopping,” in which we have someone call each of our clients posing as a potential client.


Our “mystery shopper” uses a checklist to grade several customer service basics and some key sales techniques.


In flight schools, it’s not uncommon the phones are often manned by flight instructors, office managers, and other folks who may not have sales training. It’s also not uncommon that these folks do a fantastic job.


It sometimes happens that flight schools hire someone who is “a good talker,” thinking that this person will do a fantastic job of showing people around, telling them about the programs, and so on.


Puzzled by sales numbers that seem lower than expected, they look forward to our “mystery shopping” reports, thinking that we can reveal some magic “closing techniques” that will help them sell more.


And we do, but usually not in the way they expect.


One mystery shopping report we received today had a recording of a 16 minute 37 second call. The person who answered the call was Cathy, (not her real name) a trained salesperson who is friendly, knowledgeable and very enthusiastic.


She clearly knew the program backwards and forwards, and answered every question in great detail.
In fact, she spent almost the entire time sixteen minutes and thirty-seven seconds talking about the flight school programs.


Of the total time on the call, about 93% was Cathy talking. Our mystery shopper talked about 7% of the time.


Cathy provided a very detailed, whirlwind description of the program, the duration, the books, the instructors, the simulators, the required examinations, and everything else.


“Great, let me talk with my family and get back to you,” she simply said “Great! Looking forward to talking with you again.” And hung up.


What’s so bad about that?


  • She didn’t ask enough questions to really understand the caller’s situation.
  • She didn’t even ask for contact information so that she could SEND the information package she had promised early in the call!

While this is a problem, the larger issue was that after this long conversation, she still knew nothing about (and had expressed no interest in) the CUSTOMER. She had no idea why the caller wanted to learn to fly. She has no idea what his hopes, dreams, and aspirations are. She doesn’t know what is anxieties or hesitations might be.


She was clearly enthusiastic about the school, but demonstrated absolutely no interest in the caller.


There’s an old saying that teachers of young children learn – “Kids don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”


This is not just true of children – adults learn better when they have a good rapport with the instructor and the school.   They are more likely to enjoy the experience, work harder, spend more time and money, and refer their friends and colleagues.


So, how do you build rapport?


You ask good questions.


You stop talking. (Or thinking about what you’re going to say next.)


And you listen.


A great sales call is one in which the salesperson is speaking about 30% of the time, and 70% listening.


There is one magical “secret” technique that everyone is looking for, the one that will help them make more sales.


This one thing is the skill you should interview, train, and evaluate salespeople for.


Quite simply, it’s the hard to find, and harder to teach, of . . . asking good questions, and listening to the answers!} else {..

0/5 (0 Reviews)