Learning to listen is a very key component in the art of communication between human beings. It is a skill that every person needs to master it if they want to sell themeselves successfully.
Listening is not just for sales people, it is for everybody who is selling themselves in different ways all the time, in their careers or their life. Some examples of these people who need to be good listeners are –
To be a great salesperson, you need to spend a lot of time and effort to learn about yourself and your products, this would lead to learning more about WHO you were and What you were. By spending more time to listen instead of talking, you would learn a great deal more about yourself.
An issue facing salespeople is TALKING TOO MUCH and NOT LISTENING attentively to the clients/prospects, thus losing the sale. There are 2 important lessons here –
(1) Listen carefully to the other party or else it might result in a lost sale
(2) Learn from your lesson and mistake, understand, analyse and do not repeat it, thus allowing you to recapture the sale when the prospect/client returns next time.
One of the hardest things in the world to do is to SHUT UP. We fail to sell ourselves because we are too busy talking and too much. This skill is not just applicable to the salespeople, it is applicable to everybody-
– Parents listening to their children
– Teachers listening to their students
– Doctors listening to their patients
Listening is the greater part of learning. It is a form of fine art to listen attentively. Research indicates that only 50% of what is said would be received by the other party. Therefore, it is important to learn and make a special effort to refrain from talking.
Action speaks louder than words, in the art of listening, to be a good listener, one must learn to participate actively via
(1) Knowing when to hold back your tongue.
(2) Smile when the other person smiles, mirror their actions.
To learn and achieve to be a Good Listener, there are 12 Rules for Learning to Listen –
(1) Keep Your Mouth Shut
(2) Listen with All Your Senses
(3) Listen with Your Eyes
(4) Listen with Your Body
(5) Be a Mirror
(6) Don’t Interrupt
(7) Avoid Outside Interruption
(8) Avoid Sound Distractions
(9) Avoid Sight Distractions
(11) Listen Between the Lines
(12) Don’t be an ATANA ~ All Talk And No Action
Listening is not just an art, we must appreciate listening as a blessing that we have all of our senses. Not only helps you in becoming a better and a great salesperson, it will definitely help you in your relationships with your loved ones and friends, making your world a happier environment to live in.
Always remember the Art of Listening !
(Adapted from “How to SELL Yourself”, Chapter SIX: Learning to Listen, by Joe Girard)