One of the most important communication skills we can possess is the art of listening.
We were born with 2 ears and 1 mouth and we should use them in those proportions but far too many people don’t and so, if you ARE a good listener, that my good folks works to your advantage!
It’s a fact that humans love to talk and many love to talk about themselves. If you are an active and skilled listener, just think how much you will learn about the other person.
This is particularly applicable in a sales situation. Let me explain.
If you are in sales, the best way to serve your customer is to understand their needs and the best way to do that is to ask quality questions then zip it and let them talk. The longer they talk, the more you learn about:
The ability to be an active listener combined with asking better questions is universally beneficial
In his book “Never Split the Difference”, former FBI Hostage negotiator, Chris Voss talks about the “Black Swan”. Black Swans are pieces of information gained by letting the other person speak and actively listening which completely changes the balance of the negotiation. The more you let people talk, the more likely they will reveal a “Black Swan”.
Add to the fact that people want to talk, they also find silence awkward and uncomfortable. Become comfortable around the uncomfortableness and you’ll have the other person singing like a bird. As the saying goes, “he who speaks first loses”
Another huge advantage of being a good listener is that it helps you to respond rather than react. As a good listener, you are really listening to understand what is driving the other person. Don’t confuse understanding and empathy with agreement. Just because you are empathetic and understand where the other person is coming from, it doesn’t automatically mean you agree with their perspective or point of view.
A mentor once told me “You already know what you know, shut up, listen and you’ll learn something new”
Work on those listening skills and reap the rewards.
Until next time
My name is Con and I am The Con Versationalist
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Remember, the quality of your communication will ultimately determine the level of your success.
Con is an accomplished and articulate speaker and presenter with over 25 years of high level sales experience.