There’s quality and then there’s presentation. With no presentation, quality doesn’t matter very much because it won’t sell.
At IRD Glass and IRD Ceramics, for example, we are a sole-source provider to world-class companies like 3M, Trimble, CyberOptics, Rockwell Collins, Honeywell – but we wouldn’t have been able to begin any of these long-lasting relationships if our sales reps sent industry leaders running the other direction.
The RASA Listening Sales Methods
RASA, yes RASA – the most important acronym to any salesperson. It stands for Receive, Appreciate, Summarize, Ask.
- Receive – Let the person who is speaking know they are being heard and that the information they are imparting is being received. This is mindset as much as action. You can’t just listen, you have to show that you are receiving the information with engaged body language. A person slumped in their seat with their arms crossed is giving a much different message than someone who is erect, facing forward and nodding as they receive information.
- Appreciate – Don’t give anyone a deafening wall of silence. People like to know they are speaking to a living, sentient being, so make noises and sound effects that let them know you are engaged and empathetic.
- Summarize – Summarizing information is to salespeople what annunciation is to public speakers. There is no better way – no better proof – to show you are listening than repackaging what your prospect is saying and giving it back to them in summarized form. You might call it clarifying or paraphrasing. It’s both a way to show you are listening and a way to ensure that you are taking away the exact message that they are trying to impart. When they know you are listening and appreciative of their story, they are going to tell more of it. This is how connections are formed, not just on a sales level, but a human level as well. Salespeople should strive not just to make a sale, but to make a deep and genuine connection with the prospects they are speaking to. Strategic summarizing is a clear, objective tool they can use toward that end.
- Ask – What is sales? It’s been defined in many ways, but at its core is one thing: helping. You help your sales prospects, you probably get the sale. In order to know exactly what pains your prospect needs alleviated, your reps need to ask questions. Quality of questions is also key. Leading questions often begin with “tell me,” not “what”. “What” questions are dead ends with monosyllabic answers: five, ten. If your sales reps ask leading questions that gets your prospects to share an experience, they’re on their way to making a connection that is more likely to lead to a sale.
RASA. Remember it.
Want to Practice RASA on IRD Glass or IRD Ceramics?
If you want to practice RASA on IRD Glass or IRD Ceramics, why not attend one of these upcoming conferences? We’ll be there and we’d love to actively listen to you too!
- SPIE Defense & Commercial Sensing – Booth #266 – April 9-13, 2017– Anaheim Convention Center – Anaheim, CA
- Ceramics Expo USA–Booth #137 – April 25-27, 2017at the International Exposition Center – Cleveland, OH
- Medical Sensors Design Conference – May 8-9, 2017at the Marriot Hotel – Newton, MA