People don't care what you know until they know that you care.
One of the best ways to show people that you care is to learn to listen to what they are saying and to respond to what they are saying in a positive manner.
"We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak." Epictetus
Epictetus was a Greek Stoic philosopher. Born 55AD Died 135 AD... Funny how some things never change and how we seldom learn from those that have gone before us...
In sales, if you are not listening, you miss important information and potentially lose sales.
Practicing active listening increases the probability that you will comprehend your client’s needs and wants and improve your effectiveness at closing transactions.
Unfortunately, people are typically not taught how to listen well and solid listening skills need to be developed.
The following are some Active Listening Tips that I've been encouraging our agents to practice and use since we opened our doors in 1984.
1. Talk less... limit your own talking to 30% of the conversation
2. Don’t interrupt
3. Use listening responses... such as... “yes,” “go on”
4. If something that the client says is unclear, ask the client to elaborate
5. Pay attention with eye contact
6. Take notes
7. Don’t jump to conclusions
8. Don’t argue with or criticize the client
9. Don’t impose your opinion on the client
10. Listen with an open mind and try to recognize the emotion behind what they are saying
11. Listen to the exact words your clients use...
12. Utilizing the clients own words and phrases can be very powerful in communicating with them
11. Focus on what your client is saying, not on your next questions
12. Avoid disruptions
13. Confirm Your Understanding
To avoid misunderstandings and promote the sales process, try paraphrasing what you heard your clients say to verify that you understood their message correctly and then asking for a confirmation.
Restate in your own words what you perceive the clients major needs and or concerns are and ask him or her if your perceptions are correct...
“So, to make sure I understand, you are looking for a 4-bedroom house with a bright kitchen. Is that correct?”
Also, ask your client to prioritize their needs and or concerns so that you understand clearly what their most important issues are.
This technique will help you ensure that you understand your clients requirements and will help you remember them better. It will also help develop a positive relationship with your client by showing that you are concerned about getting the details right.
"First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do." Epictetus