Are You a Good Listener? Are You Sure? I Hope So…Your Achievement Depends On It.

Most of us, who sell for a living, have pretty healthy egos so when I ask a question like, “Are you a good listener?” You probably answered “yes!” Here is the problem.

In a survey taken of salespeople in the financial services arena, in a one hour meeting, the salespeople talked for 48 minutes and listened for 12 minutes. Whoops . . . 48 to 12 . . . that pretty much violates every communication rule in the book . . . 48 to 12 is not communication, it is domination . . . exactly the kind of behavior that often gives sales, and salespeople, a bad name.

Why do salespeople talk too much?  Tons of reasons:

  • We are often extroverts, talkative by nature
  • We are excited on a sales call
  • We want to get all of the information in, etc.

Trouble is we cannot listen while we are talking, and most buyers are quite eager to sell themselves if we will just quiet down and get out of the way.

This week, focus on your listening skills. Be conscious about how much you are talking and how much you are listening. Practice in non-sales settings. I heard a great line at a sales workshop I took long ago that I have never forgotten, “A sales call is a lot like tennis. You cannot lose a point while the ball (conversation) is in the other player’s (buyer’s) court. Same goes with sales.” 

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