Cultivating Curiosity – How To Sell Effectively

In Chris Guthrie’s I’m Curious he starts with pushes a good negotiator forward:

Good negotiators must understand their counterparts’ perspectives, interests, and arguments to do well at the bargaining table. To understand one’s counterpart a negotiator needs to be curious about what her counterpart has to say. In other words, a negotiator should cultivate a stance of curiosity. (I’m Curious)

My curiosity is what drove me to recruiting. My urge to know what’s going on in every industry, how the marketplace was shaping up, and how big business ran on a day-to-day business has help me close more deals in my career than sheer talent. I’ve always wanted to know how your business works and how it could be more effective. I want to know every piece of your business from top to bottom, and it’s this curiosity and willingness to learn that has made me a great salesperson.

leo-cullum-it-s-curiosity-cartoon

From a training point of view, curiosity is the holy grail of education and what makes you an excellent student. It’s this curiosity that endears you to clients, candidates and team members. It is the attribute that makes you seem genuinely interested in what any given person is telling you. Curiosity is one of the most overlooked attributes any given person can have, but this modesty gives others the idea that you would like to genuinely know them and their business. (TeachThought)

Self-taught designer Tobias van Schenider says that everything starts with a willingness to learn and curiosity, and that cultivating and sustaining your curiosity starts with surrounding yourself with people who are “better” than you and make you feel good about what you’re doing. (LIFEHACKER)

Tobias is right, cultivating curiosity can come from having a genuine enjoyment and interest but there are also other ways to open your mind and feel that same urge to learn about business around you.

It’s important to keep an open and curious mind. Be open to learning, and relearning about your potential client or candidate. You should be prepared to adjust the profile that you already have in your head.

Don’t just accept things at face value. If you take everything as you see it, you’ll never push beneath the surface and really figure out why is something works that way.

Ask questions. Part of actively listening to your client is hearing what they are saying to you and asking questions about why it’s like that, or where that comes from.

See learning as something fun. Don’t walk into this as a sales call, don’t stress about business development. This is just a conversation with someone in your industry. This is a networking call and you’re just taking the time to dig into their business and how it works. Enjoy the learning process because even if you don’t pick up business, you’ve learned about yet another company in your industry.

Curiosity is the basis of my sales training and what has made me so successful in my career. While I can’t teach curiosity, I can foster it and this is ultimately what will make you an elite sales professional.

We are holding a Sales Training Course on September 21st, 2015 for information about the syllabus, please visit our website or contact us directly for more information.


Our Selling in the Knowledge Age is going to be running from 9 AM EST – Noon on September 21st. For an in-depth look at the syllabus, please check out our website or contact myself directly at rebecca@curta.ca.

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