I like to talk. That’s what good marketing and sales guys do, right? Slap the client on the back and tell them a joke about three guys who walked into a bar…Well, that’s the perception, but the reality is the exact opposite. In all aspects of life, not just sales, the best listener wins. Take it from a guy who can’t wait to get his “two cents’ into a conversation. Sometimes we think we know it all, or take the speaker for granted, or they just grate on us…Well, none of that matters. If you truly want to be a success, you have to learn to listen…Now!
One of my biggest problems is thinking about what I will say next in a conversation, and not giving the speaker my full attention–Major sin in communication–Since there isn’t a 12 step program that I know of to help me become a better listener, I’ve taken it upon myself to hone my listening skills. Here are the top ten tips that I’ve learned over the years to help me with my “disorder”.
1. Ask yourself, “Are you really listening to this person?”
2. Don’t interrupt.
3. Ask questions. Then shut up! Concentrate on the other person’s answers, not your thoughts.
4. Listen without prejudging.
5. Use eye contact–Let the speaker know you care about what is being said.
6. Don’t answer before you hear the person out.
7. Pay attention to all the details.
8. Active listening involves understanding.
9. Listen also to what is not said. Implied is often more important than spoken. ..Look for non-verbal clues.
10. Avoid all distractions. Stop looking at your phone!
With a little practice anyone can be a better listener– Make it a point to learn something from everyone you meet. The best salespeople are always the best listeners…
Now what were we talking about? 🙂