The sales business: talking, speaking, telling stories, speaking, closing, talking, asking questions, telling jokes, speaking, talking, persuading…etc
Often, those of us inclined to “communication” (ie: talking, speaking, telling stories…you get the picture) feel that all others are inclined to equal interaction and that leads us to believe that the person who talks most wins–because the person who talks most (and best) will get their point across fastest, most effectively, most thoroughly.
But, there is another 50% or even 2/3s (if we believe there is a correlation between our number of ears and eyes) to communication–listening.
I believe that the household in which I was raised bred a lack of listening. My mom, dad, multiple siblings and myself (certainly myself) were talkers, yellers, persuaders, debaters. But, I have one sister who wasn’t. She’s quiet, timid and polite, she waits her turn to speak and for that reason, rarely spoke as we were growing up. But, now, she is the one in touch with everyone. She is the glue, the web, the networker, the one “in the loop with all of us.”
I am currently very focused on bettering my communication by listening, and while learning, I had the realization: Sydnie, my expert listener of a sister, is so close to everyone because she always listened, she didn’t jump in, she didn’t over power, she heard what we had to say, she processed, and intently cared about our words. Mind you, she rarely offered advice, unless it was requested. She was and still is one of those incredible people who can hear someone, and more importantly, make them feel heard. And because of that, she is the one “on the in”, the first one to learn pertinent information.
So, the golden question is: so what? I had this incredible realization, that if I was to take the same perspective into business–client interactions, information gathering with prospects…etc I would be on the in, I would hear people’s real goals, the key to their ambitions, where I can help them, their problems that my business can help solve. And even more importantly, if I can listen, these people will continue to come back to talk–all because there are so few people who do it–who offer a chance for someone to speak without simply waiting to talk themselves.
The takeaway, the “actionable tip,” is this: listen to all people, contacts, clients, colleagues, spouses, prospects without waiting to speak. You don’t need to learn how to listen like you care: just care. Just actually care: don’t think about the stain on your shirt, the way your sitting, or if your making eye contact, just listen attentively and actively. Hear them, let them continue until their done. Then, in no time, you will be in their loop, in “the loop” and most importantly, unlike all of your competition, you will be someone others want to communicate with rather than have to communicate with just because you can out talk them.