Why Listening Matters is something I often ask myself and I come up with the same conclusion every time. If you are not listening you are not truly communicating. I had an interesting experience that brought this thought to mind today while in the local mall. How many times have you walked through the mall and been approached by a sales person wanting to get you interested in their product or service? If you are like me it probably has been quite a few times. But on this occasion it definitely struck me at how some people in sales do not know how to listen, yet alone ask the right question.
On this occasion when walking through the mall, a salesperson says to me I can show you how to save money on your home phone service. I paused for a moment and told him politely no thank you but I do not use a home phone service. This encounter illustrates what happens far too often in sales, the making of assumptions of what people might need, instead of asking them if you can help them. Instead of Listening by asking the right question to initiate the conversation, many salespeople are taught to be overly aggressive and ultimately push away potential clients or customers. Ask yourself how do you communicate with clients or customers for the first time. Are you listening or are you telling?
How to start listening
The key to listening if you are meeting someone face to face is body language. The way a person sits or stands will tell you quite a bit about how they want to be communicated with. I recommend that you take the time to read up on body language to learn more about how this can help you. But its important to understand because when you begin verbal communication it will give you insights into how you should proceed with the conversation. But the important thing is to ask questions that lead to responses that are more than yes or no. In doing so you are able to begin listening for clues and insights into what matters to the person about a particular topic and can discover what you may be able to potentially offer to help them.
Can Sales happen without Listening?
Of course sales can happen without listening, but ask yourself what the likelihood of the person coming back a second or third time if you were more interested in the sale than building a relationship. Some of the most successful businesses take the time to listen and build a relationship with their clients and customers. In today’s business world, nothing is more important than the relationship with clients. Take a moment and evaluate your listening skills to see how they measure up and what you can do to improve them to ultimately increase your potential business.