There is seldom a day that passes that I don't scratch my head and wonder why people have lost the art of listening.
I deal with sales-people everyday. They come in my office un-invited to tell me all about their products and services and try to convince me that I just can't live without them. Many of these folks are top producers in their companies. They slam the deals in regardless of what it takes. Sometimes, they remind me of the big bullies at grade school picking on the smart, skinny kid with glasses. They get what they want through fear and manipulation.
Of course, I was and always will be a rebel or non-conformist. These bullies don't intimidate me even for one minute. In fact, I am the big mouthed kid who stands up to the bullies and tells them to leave the other kids alone.
I am lucky to also work with some true professionals who know their craft and are genuinely good people. They aren't arrogant or pushy. They explain themselves (and their product) calmly and pause for a response from me. They leave open segments in the presentation for others to jump in and add external content to the conversation.
I learned from an early age that if you want to succeed in sales (or most anything else in life), you need to zip your mouth and actually listen. People will tell you everything you need to know. You just need to be respectful, engaged and listen.
I hope this post reminds all of us to take time to listen.
You never know what you might learn :)