This week, I had to listen to an inexperienced guy (not a developer) bleat on about how he was going to trick his clients into buying from him.
He didn’t use the word ‘trick’, but I could see his mind racing and strategising around plans, plots, schemes.
I was thinking, ‘Why don’t you just talk to these people, find out what they need and want, and offer it to them?’
And then I realised, he doesn’t know how to sell.
In his mind selling is a game, a trick – something you win at when you get one over someone.
Actually, selling is asking questions and listening, and then offering substance. It’s digging through your repertoire and finding the thing your customer really needs or wants, and delivering it to them.
You don’t need lots of confidence or a big personality to sell. You just need to listen.
Even if you’re not personally comfortable with selling, in my experience software developers love listening to and solving a good problem.
And your desire to solve a problem – and solve it well – puts you in a strong place to start building client relationships, and selling.
So what does listening mean? How do you make sure you’re listening?
Here are three things you can do.