Stop Selling Start Listening – How to Build a Better Business

Have you noticed many companies have got worse at marketing? WHY? Because they are too busy selling and forget to listen. How many prospects does your sales team close on average? Two percent? Five percent? What if marketing could work alongside sales to find and engage with fewer, more qualified leads to close more deals? Suddenly, two percent looks like 10 or 15 percent. It all comes down to how marketing and sales are communicating with prospective buyers.

Gone are the days of the elevator pitch. Say good-bye to hard selling tactics. Instead, embrace the idea that it’s time to listen to your prospects. Embrace the idea that it’s time to stop selling your product, and start helping your customers find a solution to their problems instead.

This sales tactic can ultimately help your marketing and sales teams engage, nurture, and close more prospects. Be sure to keep the following tips in mind.


Marketing is everything! From how you dress, to your logo, to the words you speak…they all create a picture of who you are and what that means to someone. For this reason, be mindful that everything you do and how you appear is marketing.

People constantly compare themselves to everyone else, and compare you to everyone else! They can’t help themselves.  You message needs to be congruent with both your audience and how you portray yourself.

Use the Know, Like & Trust Marketing Approach

At the end of the day, marketing and selling is all about inspiring confidence in your company. Your team is trying to move a prospect from seeing and believing in an outcome to believing in you. They need to believe in what your company / product / service can do for them and how it can improve their life. If you’ve been around the marketing block, you know that a basic fundamental principle of marketing is to get people to know, like and trust you. Do this well, and you’ll convert prospective people into clients, and build a community of raving fans, affiliates and customers who refer you, buy from you and champion you regularly.

The story marketing and sales decide to share will be the foundation of your sale. All relationships need to be built on a foundation of trust. When marketing creates content that provides answers and brings value to every interaction a customer has with your organisation, it builds trust. When sales talks about the things your customers are thinking and worrying about on a daily basis, it builds trust. Message alignment between sales and marketing will have a multiplying effect on your relationships with your customers.

Sell a Solution – Not a Product

The first time sales gets on the line with a customer, your product shouldn’t come up at all (unless the customer asks you a specific question, of course). You should be asking questions, taking notes, learning about them. Again, it’s an act of trust. Just because someone says they like your idea, just because someone agrees that there’s some better outcome to be achieved, doesn’t mean that outcome is their top priority. From here, how do you get someone to commit to change? If you have listened to their problems, you can calculate and communicate the opportunity cost precisely and highly enough that they have no choice. Once someone is committed to change, they are now ready to hear about your solution. Don’t sell them your product. Sell them a necessary answer to their need.

Marketing Overwhelm

Keep in mind that everyone is shouting BUY, BUY, BUY. Therefore to take a different approach will set you apart from all the noise being created by those doing the hard sells, and will create a clear path toward marketing and sales success. By showing that you have their best interests at heart, this is where the real trust comes from. This connection is what you must establish to be successful in your marketing and sales endeavours.

Stop Selling – Start Listening

Now, go back to your marketing material. How much of it is all about your and how great you are? What questions are you asking your potential customers? Are you really fulfilling ALL their needs? When you are, they will do the marketing for you. So ask more questions, speak to more customers and find out the gap between what you offer and what they really want and you will have a customer for life.

Ronan Leonard – also known as the Mastermind Guy – is the founder of Eccountability, which connects small business owners to support groups through the innovative concept of virtual Masterminds. Without a co-founder or a business coach solopreneurs are often overwhelmed with to-do lists. They need impartial advice to get the right support to help them achieve clarity and better results.