You – an Elephant?

The other day I wrote a post about what animal is used to describe a bad sales person. You’ll find it here if you’re interested. Today let’s focus on the opposite. What animal is used to describe a good sales person and why?


It’s the elephant. I think you can figure out why. It has nothing to do with the trunk if that’s what you’re thinking about. It’s the ears. The big ears. A good attribute to have if you’re going to succeed in sales is to be a good listener.

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
– Epictetus

If you don’t listen to the customer you’ll never quite understand what he or she is buying. You probably think you know what you are selling but that’s not necessary the same thing as the customer is buying…

Let me point out a few things about listening. First, you can “listen” with many different senses but today I’ll just focus on what you can actually hear. Second – too often we listen to respond and not to understand. Third – in order to make sure you’ve actually understood your customer you should ask control question to secure that you’re on the same page. Otherwise you might risk talking about things that for many different reasons are irrelevant to your customer. And believe me – you don’t want to go there… 😉

Here’s todays task for you:

  1. The next time you’ve carried out a sales visit or had a sales talk, ask yourself who spoke the most? If the answer is the customer then you’re on the right track. Just keep going. But don’t forget to calibrate every once in a while. If the answer is that you are the one that spoke the most then you’ve spotted some potential for improvement. In that case carry the picture with you over a period of a month and keep asking yourself the same question on a daily basis.

Many times we think that it’s the people that talk the most that are the best sales people. But I’d say that the sales people that will last, evolve and become real stars is the one that listen more than they speak. That’s selling with your heart.


Author: Daniel Bergqvist

Dad of three, husband, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, marketeer and more. Love life with family, friends and work. A heart for change and sales.