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Another extremely positive aspect of this tip involves the fact that your allowing the prospect to feel that he or she is able to interrupt you is quite conducive to a feeling resembling a bond between you and the prospect. Since you allow the prospect to interrupt what you are saying, you appear to truly care about what he or she is saying, which can build a very positive relationship between you and that prospect.

A tip that goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip is to ask questions. To stimulate people to talk and to help you clarify your understanding of what they mean, let them know you take them seriously by drawing them out. When you ask questions you reinforce the idea that you are truly listening, not simply standing there, waiting for your turn to speak.

The seventh tip, remembering what is said, involves logging important points into your mental computer. You should take notes if you feel that such action is necessary. Also, try to make connections between apparently isolated remarks.

Blocking out interruptions and distractions is an essential step in becoming an effective active listener. You should concentrate so fully on what is being said that you don't even notice visual and audible distractions. When you allow these outside factors to steal your attention, your prospect may possibly assume that your original attention was forced, thereby causing your chances of completing a sale to dramatically decrease.

An obvious aspect of actively listening to your prospect is to be responsive. However, this tip is not so obvious to some salespeople because many never seem to follow this advice. For those who don't know what this means, you should get your whole body into listening and showing that you are paying attention. Look the person squarely in the eyes, and use facial expressions.

The final, and most important tip in the process of active listening is to stay cool. You should emanate complete relaxation throughout your entire conversation with the prospect. Don't overreact to highly charged words and tones, because quite often people calm down after being allowed to vent their anger and frustration. Furthermore, your calm is likely to rub off on your prospect, creating a conversation environment that is far less stress-free.

Active listening is an important, yet widely ignored aspect of selling. If you are unable to convey your heartfelt interest in what your prospect is saying, then your chances of actually closing the sale are greatly decreased. On the other hand, if you follow these tips to becoming an active listener, then you are guaranteed to have many more productive, pleasant selling experiences.

Bill Brooks, CSP, CPAE, CMC, CPCM former CEO of a $300,000,000 corporation and two-time sales award winner from an international sales force of 8,000, Bill has real-world expertise. Bill has spoken or consulted in over 300 different industries while being engaged by at least 150 clients an astonishing six times each. For information about how to bring Bill to your next meeting or convention, contact the Frog Pond at 800.704.FROG(3764) or email susie@frogpond.com.

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