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Sales listening is patient listening. Don’t anxiously wait for an opportunity to jump in and solve all the customer’s problems right away. After I ask a question I shut up and allow my prospect to speak. Sometimes I wait for several minutes. Most salespeople can’t stand a pause in the conversation. Take a deep breath, relax, and listen. Some prospects want to be listened to more than they want their problems solved. People love to talk about themselves, their jobs, and their companies; encourage them to do so.

Transportation salespeople who have been in our industry for a long time should re-visit how they qualify and maintain accounts. It’s easy to start believing that you have all the answers, but you never know what changes may have happened since your last call.

Never waste the prospect’s time. There will come a point when the customer is ready to move past the small talk, and it’s usually quicker than you might think. Everyone is short on time these days and most traffic managers, purchasing managers, and other decision-makers will appreciate you getting to the point. You can do this tactfully without jeopardizing the emerging relationship.

First, give the prospect a reason