Are Your Listening Ears On
Do you really listen when others are speaking? Or are you thinking about your response? Or worse yet, something else entirely.
Anyone who has had children in daycare during the past 15 years has heard the term ‘listening ears.’ Children are asked to put theirs on all the time. Interestingly, we forget that rule as adults.
What ears do you listen with? To your co-workers, clients, prospects, family, friends? When it comes to the sales process, this can be a minefield. Too many salespeople have their focus in the wrong place and therefore, their listening ears aren’t on. They are usually thinking about the next question they want to ask, or the next point they want to make.
The problem with this is that they miss important information. Not only do they not hear vital information, but they leave their prospect with the impression that they are only interested in the sale. They don’t really care about the needs, pains, desires of their prospect. This can be deadly.
This same issue applies – on a greater level, I believe – to small business owners who wear the ‘sales’ hat. Quite often, this is because they are uncomfortable with the sales process. This uneasiness causes them to focus on how they are communicating, feeling, reacting. They aren’t ‘in the moment.’ But good listening skills are essential to successful sales efforts. It is essential that you master the ability to use your ‘listening ears.’
Whenever you are having a conversation with someone, focus on what that person is saying. Really absorb their words, intonation, and body language. Capture what is truly going on with that person. This may take practice. It is well worth the effort. The better you get at listening, the more confidence others will have in you. The more they will believe that you are genuinely interested in their needs, wants, and desires. And, therefore, the more willing they will be to do business with you.
So, watch yourself. Practice better listening skills with your friends and family. Remind yourself to put your listening ears on at the beginning of the conversation. Keep an eye on how you listen. Make any necessary adjustments during a conversation – especially if you find yourself thinking about your next statement or question. Repeat back to the other person the things they just said. This is a great way to confirm for yourself that you are listening well.
Copyright © 2007 Seize This Day Coaching
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Diane is a professional coach and the president of Seize This Day Coaching. She works with small business owners, entrepreneurs, and salespeople, helping them create successful business development strategies.