Article: How To: Listen Like a Sales Champion

29th September 2015 | By Frances Pratt

Five Whys of Sales Sucess

Everyone hears ... not everyone listens!

Sales experts bleat on about the importance of listening ALL the time … blah blah blah.  
Here’s why:  When you listen to others, they respect you and are more likely to tell you what they are really thinking and feeling.

TWO GREAT reasons to hone your sales champion listening skills.

  1. Respect is an essential ingredient in trust, and people buy from people they trust.
  2. If you know what your clients are REALLY thinking and feeling then you are better able to help them buy from you.


Listening involves SOOOO much more than just your wonderful ears.  Don’t get me wrong.  Ears are important but they are only a small part of the champion listening equation.  The truth is if you are only using your ears you are missing four essential ingredients to champion listening.

So, faithful reader … let me tell you what’s required to Listen like a Champion

  1. The Ears

Well that’s a little obvious, but it’s worth putting first because you need to listen well in order to do the rest.

Think about: putting yourself in a physical and mental position to listen well. Without distractions.

  1. The Eyes

When you are listening, your eyes are engaged with the other person.  You are looking at their eyes or mouth and seeing what their body language is telling you.

Watch for body language when speaking with a potential new client to see if they are what you are saying.  If you’ve lost them, it’s time to check in.  Here are some examples:
"How are we going so far?  Are there any questions or things that I can clarify for you?”
“Oh – I seem to have lost you on that point.  Is that something that we need to talk about?”

Think about:  Sitting yourself to avoid other visual distractions such as people walking past or television.

  1. The Body

Body language is the largest component in listening and correct interpretation.  This is why we all experience more cases of misunderstanding via the phone and more again via email.   Assess your body.  An open body language means you are sitting straight on confirming things with gestures and spoken affirmations.

Mirroring is something that all human beings do naturally when we are actively engaged in listening to another person.  Watch for signs of this from your client and yourself.  You can also use this in the opposite form by visibly opening your arms to try to get them to uncross their arms.

Think about:  What your body is saying about you and what insights it can give you into your clients thoughts and feelings.

  1. The Brain

Listening is a social interaction where our brains actively filter and interpret what we hear based on our knowledge and experiences.  That is why listening can be done when there are no sounds. We interpret silence, gestures and body movements.  When you are actively listening you are using ALL senses to listen and interpret. 

Think about:  Turning off mental distractions (like what you are doing after this meeting).  Turning on your awareness about active listening and your filters.

  1. The mouth

Last, but my no means least the mouth.  What? I hear you say. 

Championship listening is about ensuring that you have an accurate understanding of what you have heard and seen.  Once you have listened with all your senses and allowed your brain to interpret you have an understanding.  Your mouth is then used to check that you have interpreted correctly. 

Think about:  How you check and clarify information with great questions.
How you end a meeting by checking you have the right message. 

Summary

So my friends ... get out there and really, actively listen.  Your clients will LOVE you for it!

 

For the love of selling !

Like what you've read, and want to know more

Why not have a look at my FREE ebook on the 11 Secrets of Sales Champions ... specifically for people who honestly hate sales!

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