If you want to increase your sales, learn to hear what your client is asking for by practicing active listening.
It’s sad but true that most of us are not really heard when we speak.
Sure, we have conversations; we share our opinions and listen to those of others, but we’re not really listening, and we’re not really being heard. Life comes at us at a rapid pace and we’re busy and preoccupied. Multi-tasking becomes our modus operandi, and we rarely sit and focus our attention, single-mindedly, on any one thing.
Frequently in a conversation, we’re busy thinking about what our response is going to be, and we miss most of what is being said because we weren’t paying attention.
Most of us process information in the world around us through the “filters” of our own experience, making judgments and assuming knowledge that we perhaps don’t yet have. And we do it unconsciously.
That’s how it happens that we hear what we want to hear, rather than what is being said, and it causes us to discount the person that we’re speaking with, albeit unintentionally.
We have one mouth and two ears so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. You’d think that would mean that listening is easy, but active listening is a skill that needs to be developed.
When we are actively listening, we are intently focused upon the person that is speaking. Our goal is to understand what is being said – not so that we can agree or disagree, but rather so that we can repeat back to the speaker, in our own words, what we understand them to have said.
Doing this takes a willingness on our part to fully engage with the speaker.
It means that we must tune out distractions, stop fidgeting or fiddling, or doing anything else that would take our attention away.
It means setting aside our own opinions in order to be present enough to really hear what the other person is saying.
To actively listen, pay attention to what is being said, both verbally and non-verbally. Listen to the words being spoken, yes, but also tune in to what is not being said, or to what is being said through body language.
Make sure that your body language is communicating involvement in the conversation as well – lean towards the person that you’re speaking with, maintain eye contact, respond appropriately, and ask questions to convey your active listening.
By asking relevant questions and learning to listen to the answers, you can more readily discover what your client is looking to achieve; what their needs, wants, and desires really are. When you have that information, you are better able to offer the correct solution.
Start giving people what they want, and watch your business soar!