80/20 Folks! The Sales Golden Rule

80% and 20%. We all know this ratio as the key to maximizing efficiency, but how does that apply to sales? When I bring this up at my weekly sales class, the jaws drop… this is the amount of time the salesperson is supposed to listen vs. talk. 80% listening, 20% speaking that is! Don’t say anything- just let that sink in.  That’s right, if you are spending time presenting and talking, you’re not able to understand the needs of your client. And listening, my salesperson friend is what your actual job is.

“But Marie, aren’t I supposed to convince them to buy my stuff/services/etc?”


Your job as a salesperson is to find out what are their compelling reasons for doing business with you, and IF they’re a good fit. If you’re not actively listening and instead of talking the whole time, you aren’t doing your job.

To increase your ninja-like listening skills try these three things:

1. Ask open-ended questions. Make it a goal to take such awesome notes that you can quote your prospect’s words back to them later in the conversation

2. TURN OFF THE DARN PHONE. Ask your prospect to do the same.

3. Care. You have to care about others to be a good sales person!  Try it! It might just make you a better human in the process.