This insight is one of the better understood principles relating to the difference between traditional sales and Business Development. Simply put, if your objective is to develop business with your prospects, you learn more by asking questions and listening than by doing the talking.
Traditional salespeople have a need to educate prospects on their problems and the solutions which only they have to offer. They are convinced that this process will educate the prospects into buying their products or services. The fatal flaw in this thinking is assuming the prospect is ignorant. That’s a lethal assumption. Prospects know what their world looks like, what problems they are experiencing and what motivates them to engage with someone in getting solutions. You win over your prospects by listening to them rather than telling and selling them.
Mastering Socratic questioning, asking intellectually and emotionally challenging questions and truly listening to the prospect is the mark of a true Business Development Professional. Your credibility is determined by the level and type of questions you ask, not the statements you make.
Win over your prospects by listening to them, not telling and selling them.