5 Ways to Improve Your Business Listening

November 29, 2012

Every sales professional here in Central Ohio carries an array of skills that help support their careers. For example, many salespeople are great closers. Some are excellent at fact finding. Most can build rapport with anyone. But the common ingredient for success in virtually every single pro has to be good listening.

The single most critical communication skill anyone can have is the ability to be quiet and listen. No matter who is speaking or who the client is, informational listening and the retention of that information are the truest ingredients for surviving in the selling profession.

The challenge for salespeople, most with extroverted temperaments, is to out talk the client in the ill-fated effort to build a sense of relationship. But this common tendency usually will get the client a different salesperson. It is essential to stay on task and to have an involved process.

The key ingredient in a selling and buying situation is to out listen the client. No sale has ever been lost by listening. As a customer discusses needs and wants and gives us a little background, we are often so busy formulating our next question and plotting our next move that we are not listening to anything we hear. We are just too busy thinking.

  • Slow down to speed things up: Gathering information and building rapport is a slower rather than faster process.
  • Keep it simple: Understanding what the client came in for is not rocket science. It just takes two ears.
  • The client is too important: Each person has a history, experiences, needs, wants, and a current situation. Involve them.
  • Stay quiet: Ask the questions and then allow the answers.
  • Pay attention: Being focused and actively listening makes for successful closes virtually every time. It is not easy to do something so seemingly effortless. Make it an integral part of your strategy.

We often forget that the Carnegie Principles are based and driven by common sense. With so many complex training programs and hundreds of sales trainers and closes, it is good to know that with Dale Carnegie, it is driven by simplicity.


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Photo: digitalart, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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