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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 time
For previous ‘Tricks of the Trade’ go here
About the author
Hi I’m Leigh Ashton of The Sales Consultancy
Whether you’re a small business or a leading brand, an area manager or a Chief Executive, whether you’re new to sales or an experienced sales professional. Even if you’re not in sales at all but want to understand it, you’ve come to the right place.
The World of Sales is changing.
Today’s conventional sales training doesn’t address the psychological barriers that get in their way.
My approach takes your sales team through a process that:
* Helps them identify their psychological barriers and gives them the tools to overcome them
* Teaches them how the mind works so they can keep motivated and stay focused
* Gives them the ability to identify the psychological patterns of their clients and prospects so they connect with them at a deeper level and close more sales
And at a higher level…
* It creates more success in other areas of their lives so they are happier generally…and happier sales people generate more sales
Wherever you are on your personal sales journey what’s the best course of action for YOU.
– Sales Training – that actually gets results
– Leadership and Management
– Personal Coaching and Mentoring
– Sales Mentoring Programme
– NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and how it can help you accelerate your success
– Keynote Speaking