Did You Hear? Listening Pays Off

The following post is from Lisa of Working Naked:

source: ky_olsen

I come from a big, loud family, and the word “quiet” isn’t in our vocabulary. We don’t believe in long pauses either. So when I jumped into the business world I figured out quickly that if I wanted to succeed in sales and grow my business, I’d have to learn to be quiet.

These four tips can help you make sure you don’t miss what your clients are saying.

Know when to stop talking.

When you’re selling, it’s natural to go on and on about why someone should buy your product or service, or to try to impress a prospect with everything you know about your product or industry. A prospect may start out interested in your sales pitch, but if you do all of the talking, don’t be surprised if they shut down as their eyes glaze over.

Don’t miss important points.

Listen twice as much as you talk, and fight the urge to bring up another point when a client is talking. Otherwise you may miss a key point and risk losing the rapport you’ve built with that person. If you’re on the phone, take notes that you can refer to later.

Pause, pause, pause.

A good friend of mine is an investigative reporter and a master at asking questions, pausing, and waiting for the person she’s interviewing to answer. She’s also good at making her interview subjects sweat. When you ask a prospect or client a question, do the same thing without making them sweat. After they respond, wait another few seconds to see if they have anything else to say.

Ask questions.

Start the conversation with a question, and then wait patiently for the answer. Don’t be surprised if you uncover valuable information. Your clients will appreciate your interest in them and they should be more likely to use your services or buy your products.

Listening takes time and patience, but it’s a skill that pays off in the long run. You never know what you’ll learn when you take the time to listen.

How have you improved the way you listen to clients?

Home office expert Lisa Kanarek is the founder of WorkingNaked.com and the author of five books about working from home, including Organize Your Home Office For Success. Lisa works with entrepreneurs and home-based employees through seminars and individual consultations, to create functional home offices that meet each individual’s working style.