Showing appreciation for that information the client gives will induce them to tell the salesperson more, Kennedy says. "Keep in mind that everybody loves giving advice," he writes. "Asking people for their opinions and their advice is a certain way to open them up and get them 'spilling' what they know."
There are four areas of major importance for all prospective customers, and salespeople who can isolate the single most-important area will be able to gain their trust and increase sales.
That is the philosophy outlined in No B.S. Sales Success: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Kick Butt Take No Prisoners & Make Tons Of Money Guide, written by Dan Kennedy. The book describes the secrets to reading anyone's mind and how to be seen as a trusted friend.
Begin by dropping the ego, Kennedy writes. We all have a tendency to counter someone's story with a "better" story of our own, he says, and in the case of learning more about the client, a salesperson should squash the innate need to be heard and listen intently to what the client is saying.
Kennedy suggests studying skilled interviewers such as the popular television talk show hosts, taking note of the techniques they use and the questions they ask to get their subjects to open up about themselves.
Once the client has the salesperson's attention, it is important to actively listen. To listen effectively, Kennedy says, the salesperson must learn to find at least one thing they honestly like about the person whom they are listening to.
"You have to instantly cultivate a sincere interest, either in the other person or in the content of what the other person is saying," Kennedy advises.
Active listening also includes seeing the other person's point of view, responding with body language and the ability to have total concentration on what is being said, the book says.
Kennedy says to take note that there are four areas of importance in everyone's life and in determining the priority of these -- family, occupation, recreation and money -- a salesperson can often better understand the motives behind the client's actions.
For example, if family is most important, the client might not be interested in an offer that might compromise family values such as traveling or needing to work more hours to pay for what the salesperson is selling. And if occupation is most important, these factors might not be as much of an issue.
"Each individual is more interested in one of these areas in life than the other three," Kennedy writes. "Once you isolate which area a person is most interested in, you can often accurately predict what he's thinking in response to certain stimulus."