What does Sonar have to do with Sales?
Posted Tuesday, November 1st, 2016
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This is not a fishing tale but it does have to do with fish.

Fish use sonar to sound out sound waves in order to hear the sound that is coming back. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the word sonar is derived from the phrase “sound navigation and ranging.” Sonar uses sound waves to detect and determine the location, size, and relative motion of underwater objects.

To put it into a business application, the fish care much more about the reflected sound that comes back than they care about the original sound made.

The return sound could define a harmless underwater rock. The return sound could also define a menacing, underwater creature.

Now to the part that ties fish together with sales. Business people are always reminded to be a good listener. We have two ears and one mouth and should listen twice as much as we talk. While businesses have folks who are dedicated to selling, every member of a business is representing their company and selling in one form or another.

So, what does sonar have to do with selling?

There is basic listening versus really being able to read someone’s verbal and non-verbal communication.

If you were able to drive a conversation topic, then you would be able to focus you attention on the nuances of just the response. Have a similar conversation with several different people and the variable is simply how they individually respond.

Just like the fish, business sonar is not about the sound you are making and all about reading the sounds you are hearing.

For example, the sales professional is trying to identify prospective customers to spend more time with and also trying to filter out the prospective customers who are not going to buy. The business manager is engaging team members in similar conversations and then measuring the individual responses to determine which team member really gets it and which ones don’t. Smart hiring managers will make the same comment to several candidates in order to measure each one by the sounds they make that defines their response.

Today’s talented professionals can no longer just be good listeners. Sonar is the level above listening. Business sonar is reading the responses and interpreting the answer.

Key Take-a-ways:
• Today, business is constantly changing. Every advantage matters.

• Competition is fierce and a slight competitive advantage can make a big difference.

• As a business leader, are you focused on having talented professionals with “business sonar”, not just good listening skills?

• Are you hiring using business sonar to identify the best fit?

Happy Fishing !