Listening is a vital skill that is often neglected and yet is crucial to your sales success.
Be aware of the five stages of effective listening and get into the habit of recognising and practising these stages;
1. Hearing -- taking in the sound.
2. Listening -- Really paying attention and trying to make sense of what you are hearing.
3. Understanding -- Checking with the other person to make sure you have taken in what they said in the way they intended.
4. Acknowledging -- letting the other person know you have heard and understood what they have said.
5. Responding -- your response to what has been discussed.
On many occasions people go straight from stage 1 to stage 5! They jump to conclusions, miss information and leave the other person feeling misunderstood or ignored. Undoubtedly, ignoring stages 2 to 4 will cost you sales.
Learning to implement these stages naturally will rapidly enhance your listening skills and make you a much more effective sales professional.Ask a question -- then SHUT UP
When you ask open questions your client will go into dialogue to respond which gives you the opportunity to learn so much about them -- and their issue.
* Forget yourself, focus on them
* Have no other agenda
* Have no external distractions ie incoming emails, other potentially interesting people in the room
* Let your client answer without interruption.
* Focus on listening 100% and not by your internal thoughts or dialogue.
* Thinking about the next question will stop you hearing useful information.
* The next question is easy when you listen -- it comes naturally from your client's response.
Remember -- those golden nuggets of information you need to succeed may well be buried. Give them the time and attention they deserve.
* Listen to the choices of words they use -- this is vital as you can tailor your own responses using the same or similar types of words.
* Tune in all your senses when listening.
* Listen with your heart -- give everything to listening and you will gain greater levels of rapport and understanding with whoever you're talking to.
When they have finished, leave a gap of a few seconds before you speak. On many occasions you will find the most crucial information follows after this short gap.
Enjoy practising the art of listening and enjoy the benefits to your business as you improve your listening skills.
Until next timeLeighFor previous 'Tricks of the Trade' go here