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The Art of Listening

At the tender age of 21 I started my own business. A mentor told me that after you make a presentation, the first person ( service provider or buyer) that talks loses. It tool me a long time to realize the value of listening. To me, selling required my talking and I’m sure I talked my way out of a lot of sales. Today, our ability to listen is one of the greatest tools we have in our business bag.

Let’s take a look at what listening should be and how we should listen.

  • We receive information when we listen, and when we focus on the speaker, we not only listen with our ears, but our eyes.
  • By listening and not talking we have a chance to digest the information we are receiving and to interpret that information.
  • Then we know how we feel about what we have just seen and heard
  • Finally, we now can make an intelligent response, when it is our turn to talk.

Poor listening is one of the most significant problems facing business today. Technology has put everything we do in a “hurry up” mode. E-mails, smart phones, the new I-pad, and a host of other “wonders” has taken away the true listening aspect that is so vital to business success.

Like other skills, listening needs to be practiced until you have mastered the process. As mentioned above, you must hear and select information, give it meaning, determine how you feel and respond. The learning curve is doing all of this in a matter of minutes or perhaps seconds.

Take a card and jot down the four parts of the listening process. Keep the card with you and for a week practice the four steps whenever you hear someone talking. You may not be a part of a conversation (listening to those eating at a table next to you, or sitting in a hotel lobby listening to people) but practice every chance you have. Once you make  proper listening  a  habit you will notice a big difference in how your clients feel and how you respond to your clients needs. It becomes a win win situation.

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” You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take!

Have a great day!

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