The dictionary defines “communication” as a process in which information is exchanged between individuals through common symbols or behavior. Just talking about your product is not communicating, since there’s no exchange of ideas between you and the buyer. The human quality involved in selling can never be replaced, and it becomes even more beneficial the more deeply entrenched we become in the machine.
Years ago I was shopping for a computer and the salesperson started reeling off details about the speed, the memory and storage capacity, the megabytes, and all this technical information that meant nothing to me. I walked away from him feeling like a zombie from all of the technological terms and misunderstandings that he spewed at me, and I didn’t make a purchase.
A week later I wandered into another store and met a real salesperson who approached me and immediately started asking me questions rather than spewing data. He was also genuinely interested in finding the right product for me rather than in making a sale. His helpful advice increased my trust, putting him in the position to control the sale and keep me interested.
To gain information means that your communication should include lots of questions. For example: What do you want this product to do that your present one doesn’t do for you? What would your present product have to do so that you would be satisfied with it? On a scale from one to ten, how would you rate what you are using/own now? Additionally, asking questions demonstrates you are interested in them, not just in a sale. You are asking questions to find out more about how to help the human being in front of you rather than how to manipulate that person.
Remember no matter the product or service; you are in the people business! If you don’t get into communication with the buyer, you have no chance of ever making the sale.