Lenann Gardner has worked with the South-Central region of Marriott for years; I have personally worked with her on 3 different occasions now, each for a 6-month period. The real strength of her appro.. Steve Benkowitz
Former General Manager – DFW Airport Marriott Hotel


Key Points on Keeping the Selling Conversation Going

  1. Most people have Pain, though they may not reveal it easily.

  2. Take time to fully understand the Pain: how long has your prospect had it, what does it mean to her, what it is costing her?

  3. Avoid offering your product or service until you fully understand the Pain.

Learn to do the type of listening that causes your prospect to feel heard and understood, as described by Stephen Covey. Three progressively more difficult levels of listening are:

  • Repeat your prospect’s key words or phrases, or emotional words or phrases, before you say anything else.
  • Paraphrase what the prospect just said before you say what you want to say.
  • Paraphrase what the prospect said and convey the emotion before you say what you want to say.
  1. Always notice emotional language, and talk or ask about it.

  2. Questions are the most powerful form of verbal behavior when you’re selling.

  3. Remember the two most powerful types of questions you can ask when you’re selling, as identified by Neil Packham:

    • Implication Questions: Questions that ask “What does that problem, or that Pain, mean to you?”

    • Need/Payoff Questions: Questions that ask “If you solved that problem or eliminated that Pain, what would that mean to you?”

  4. Understand that it is more powerful for your prospect to say what you would like to tell him, than for you to say it. So even if you think you understand the implications of his circumstances, it’s better to ask him to talk about them, than to offer them yourself.

  5. Write down the key ideas in what your prospect says, and, when possible, how he says them.

  6. Ask prospects, “What other options do you have for getting this done?” and encourage a discussion of other alternatives she may be considering.

  7. Use questions at all stages of the selling process—asking questions beats “telling” every time.

  8. Understand that you don’t have to talk about what you have to sell. It’s more important to talk about your prospect’s circumstances and Pain.

  9. Never skip inquiring about the Pain to jump to a discussion of price. Any price out of context is too much, and people only hear the lower number in any price range, so don’t quote a range, either, until you know the Pain and can link what you do to the alleviation of that Pain.

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