Key sales skills lesson one; Listening

Many sales people forget, or have yet to embrace ‘The Crocodile and the Hare’, a story I was told when learning my craft:

The Crocodile has a big mouth and tiny ears, and the customer does not feel understood, because the crocodile did most of the talking with his huge jaws and tired himself out and got nowhere, whilst the smart Hare with his big ears just sat back, relaxed, and listened and gave the customer exactly what they asked for a only what they asked for, as in; not over selling.

One of the key starting points is to give the client your full attention, everyone is immersed in our own universe, and the key is to get inside their universe for a while and feel what they feel, this is where female sales people have a slight advantage over the men, as in; they don’t automatically jump in with the solution, and give the client more time to express the pain the client is telling them about.

Yet attention is becoming a harder commodity to come by in our technological advancing world, seeing people nearly get run over with their eyes glued to smart phone screen is becoming more and more commonplace.

Dale Carnegie said a dog gives you 100% attention which makes them man’s best friend, they care not your status, or even if you have food to feed them, it’s all about you!

This might seem a suck eggs blog to some but I think many will agree the art of listening needs to be re-iterated to many!

Switch the phone off

In today’s technological ghost town we are all in danger of losing the art of human connectivity, the very basics of what makes humanity work. Am I the only guy who insists friends turn off the phone when we are having dinner?

Now somehow, it seems to be ok to have a phone switched on at seminars, to me I would be so very embarrassed if my phone went off at a seminar, the least respect you can pay the speaker is to give them your undivided attention.

The phone to me is a thing to make appointments to sit and meet people and read their body language, and share time together.

My folks taught me no papers, comics or TV at the dining table, I moaned a bit as a kid, but now I want to say thank you for the huge lesson learned about attention and sharing, and now I feel the same and understand why that sharing time is ultra-precious!

Thanks Mum I know you can read this up there!

Stop working and listen.

Nothing says you are not important to someone than if they continue to work whilst trying to listen to you. If you have to ask the person you are supposed to be listening to, to repeat what they just said they may become very annoyed, especially if it was very simple to understand. You should listen as if the person is going to ask you to repeat what they just said back to them for prize money!

Acknowledgement

A simple; ‘I see’, ‘I agree’, ‘sure’, ‘you mean like’ are conversation golden nuggets to get the best out of people. Don’t let anyone else barge in on a conversation, and if they lose train of thought and you are straight back to them where they were; massive brownie points to you!

Even if you disagree with someone wait till they have completely finished, even ask

“Do you have anything else to add to that?” before you respond.

Ask questions along the way:

“You mean like……”

“What did that feel like to you?”

“How will you know when you get there?”

Are all examples of great conversation firewood to keep the conversation hot.

Be grateful

Thank your person for the time to talk to you and tell them how much you have gained from their time.

Remember Time is a human’s greatest asset and they have just spent some on you!

The good listener will reap all the reward the universe can give

We are all guilty of talking too much when the secret is in the listening. We all have so much to say and we want to share our experiences, if this is true, then, the listener is in high demand!

There is very little to be learned from talking wheras the whole universe is there to be listened to!

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