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Master Salesmanship: Neutralizing Your Prospective Buyer's Mind

In his book, "How to Sell Your Way Through Life", Napoleon Hill wrote, "Failure to neutralize the mind of the prospective buyer is one of the five major weaknesses of the majority of unsuccessful salesmen." By "Neutralized" he meant "emptied of prejudice, bias, resentment, and all other conditions unfavorable to the salesman".

Have you found Mr. Hill's suggestion to be the case in your own sales experience and if so, what actions/behaviors if any have helped you neutralize your prospective buyer's mind? - by Community Mailbox
Creative listening as opposed to the commonplace reactive listening among salespeople. - by Gary A Boye
Have you found Mr. Hill's suggestion to be the case in your own sales experience and if so, what actions/behaviors if any have helped you neutralize your prospective buyer's mind?
Yes, I have found Mr. Hill's suggestion to be the case in my own sales practice. IMO, sales is a "people" business and prejudice, expectation, resentment, etc. is not uncommon among people.

I want to point out that I believe this is a Very Important topic and SHOULD NOT be taken lightly. - by Jeff Blackwell
Creative listening as opposed to the commonplace reactive listening among salespeople.
Would you mind explaining what is creative listening? - by salesjunior
Would you mind explaining what is creative listening?
Creative Listening involves the discipline of paying attention to what is happening in the present moment with ourselves, with others, and with the environment.

That is one of the best descriptions I've read.

The opposite is often referred to as Reactive Listening which is a form of partial listening, cherry-picking certain things only for the purpose of forwarding our own agenda in the conversation. - by Gary A Boye
Hi,
My name is Patrick, i am new to the business of sales(4 months) and i fell like i am a reactive listener. How can you train yourself to be a better creative listener and does it have to do anything to do with being an empathetic person.
thanks - by tigga777
Hi,
My name is Patrick, i am new to the business of sales(4 months) and i fell like i am a reactive listener. How can you train yourself to be a better creative listener and does it have to do anything to do with being an empathetic person.
thanks
Empathy is a very complex and misunderstood subject and my advice at this stage is to set those thoughts aside.

Questions, specifically direct and to-the-point intrinsic questions are the building blocks of a sale. Honest questions. What make a question honest? Try this: Only ask questions of your prospect, or for that matter of anyone, that you really care to know the answer to. That is the discipline needed to "train yourself." When you do that you will listen--because you care about the answer. - by Gary A Boye
Empathy is a very complex and misunderstood subject and my advice at this stage is to set those thoughts aside.

Questions, specifically direct and to-the-point intrinsic questions are the building blocks of a sale. Honest questions. What make a question honest? Try this: Only ask questions of your prospect, or for that matter of anyone, that you really care to know the answer to. That is the discipline needed to "train yourself." When you do that you will listen--because you care about the answer.

Occam is alive and well I see ;bg

Thank you for sharing a valuable aspect found in communication.

Every salesperson should read this post. Practicing this distinction alone should elevate and deepen rapport.

It seems:

When you are Reactive in your listening, the source is "inner intentionality" and your external focus is goal specific.

(This is why I oppose sales quotas)

When you are Creative in your listening, the source is "external intentionality" and your internal focus is empathy specific.

Would this be an adequate interpretation?

Thanks again - by John Voris
When you are Creative in your listening, the source is "external intentionality" and your internal focus is empathy specific.

Would this be an adequate interpretation?

Thanks again
John, empathy, in spite of the common sales "training" platitudes, does not really play into the buyer/seller equation.

To show empathy is to identify with another's feelings. It is to emotionally put yourself in the place of another. It is an attempt to feel what another person feels. Perhaps some salespeople attempt to do that. Perhaps they do it to a fault. But it's not part of the function or practice of selling. - by Gary A Boye
John, empathy, in spite of the common sales "training" platitudes, does not really play into the buyer/seller equation.

To show empathy is to identify with another's feelings. It is to emotionally put yourself in the place of another. It is an attempt to feel what another person feels. Perhaps some salespeople attempt to do that. Perhaps they do it to a fault. But it's not part of the function or practice of selling.
You are right. But again, language gets in the way.

In truth, "empathy" is impossible due to the laws of identity. So, the word is traditionally misused just as the word "feeling" and "emotion." They are often used interchangeably within a sentence as if they are the same, and they are clearly not.

Still, "empathy" even as it is used in the industry, is not necessary for sales. Again I agree. ;bg

However, there are phases and grades of emotional connectivity between the prospect and sales rep leading into the sale. This is why I said, "your internal focus is empathy specific." Not that it was attainable. Just as people focus on goals that may never materialize. (Sorry, that distinction was not clear. )

I should have said that Reactive Listening focuses on your goals.

Whereas Creative Listening focuses on the individual.

Asking questions that you really care to know because you care about the answer (from another) reveals at least an awareness of being within one of these initial phases of connectivity. This level of connection is eventually tethered to this empathic illusion. This is why I used the word "empathy."

I hope that clarifies. Often the debate here is initiated by linguistic issues and not differences in ideology. - by John Voris
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