Look what landed in my inbox this week (above). Just what the world needs now. You can watch two TV shows at the same time! Seriously? This hurts my brain just thinking about it.
The most important element of success in business or our personal lives is the ability to listen. Superior listening skills allow us to hear what the other person desires, and then deliver what they want, at the price we heard them indicate they would pay.
But you must listen intently as that price or buying clue is most often not given numerically, but hidden in subtle comments made about preferences. It takes focused listening skills to understand what is being conveyed, but insights are given if you listen closely.
You use the same listening skills to then "close" a sale for a company, or sell the newest person in your life on joining you for dinner. Two different activities but same listening and then selling skills needed. But alas, as a species, we don’t like to sell or listen. We like to talk and we especially enjoy hearing ourselves talk.
When we are selling we often feel compelled to talk far more than necessary. We are not comfortable with dead air and feel the need to fill the dead air with clever arguments for our side of the discussion. And when we fill the room with our point of view, it not only comes off sometimes as negative hard sell, but when we are talking we are unable to listen for what the corporate buyer or potential dinner date, desperately wants to convey, but can’t get a word into the raging one sided conversation.
The best sales rehearsal exercise ever is to actually time, as in with a stopwatch or IPhone (do they still make stopwatches?), the amount of time each side is talking. While the uninitiated mistakenly believe the seller should be talking most of the time, the truth is the opposite. If you are talking more than 50% of the time you are losing the sale for the corporation or the opposite sex. The more you can get the buyer, or potential dinner date, to talk, the higher the probability of success.
Potential buyers give huge clues to closing the sale, like their favorite type of food, restaurant, topic of conversation they most enjoy, preferred dining time, etc. All you need do is listen, and then come back with a package of right answers that defines what they want and the “sale” is a slam-dunk! But if you were talking 75% of the time you will not hear the cue's and lose the sale or be dining alone. No commission check or no dinner date, whichever mountain you were trying to climb. They both start with listening intently to the other person in the room!