Here is a quickie from our psych friends. The next time a prospect or a client makes what is obviously an important point he/she is trying to make, when he finishes repeat it back to him.
(Prospect): “Staying on schedule is my most important priority for this project. Any slippage will affect every contractor to follow.”
(Salesperson): “OK, so staying on schedule is your top priority?”
I know it sounds a little contrived, but according to psychologists, this simple act of repeating the sentence in question form has several important benefits.
- It signals to the prospect that you are really listening.
- It reassures him that you truly “get it.”
- It empowers the prospect . . . you are validating that he is the boss and your job is to listen and deliver.
Obviously this is not something to try once or twice in any given meeting for it to maintain its power and credibility, but it is a nice little arrow in our communications quiver for when needed.