“The best salespeople are great listeners—that’s how you find out what the buyer wants.”
Larry Wilson and Spencer Johnson
Have you had a supervisor get angry at you for not doing the task as you were asked to? Was it because you assumed what they were going to say, and half listened? It is a common practice that we ‘hear’ the instruction, but only a few people actually “listen” to the full instructions all the way to the end of the sentence.
In the same vein, your client or customer needs a high level of listening from you. Customers have been through situations where the salesperson they were speaking to was concentrating on what they were going to say, missing a number of points that were important to the customer.
Effective communication in business requires three times as much listening as talking. First, listen to your customer with no agenda in mind or ego in the way. The way you listen to your customer in the first meeting can create a positive impression that starts the relationship off well. Next communicate your ideas, folding in their concerns and questions with your expertise. Then listen again to the response of your client to come up with the viable product, service, or resolution. Once there is agreement, your next listening is to how they feel the product, service, or resolution worked out for them. Listen, speak, listen, listen. This proportion works every time!
It is necessary to improve listening skills at work so that you can understand the message that the person is front of you, supervisor, customer or colleague is trying to convey, and be able to respond in the most intelligent and wise way possible.
“You learn when you listen. You earn when you listen—not just money, but respect.”
— Harvey Mackay