Tuesday 22 June 2010

Because it is human nature to hear what we want to hear, most of the time we aren’t even aware that we’re not actually listening. Also, instead of really hearing what our client or prospect is saying, we are thinking ahead to what we want to say next. Listening, really listening to what is being said rather than what we want to hear, is something we have to learn to do. Practice the following actions to become a better listener, rather than just a “hearer.”

Concentrate on the person – this is hard to do in the beginning, but the best way to be a listener is to consciously concentrate on every word your client says.

Focus on context and agreement – pay attention to what they are saying in context and be sure words and body language are in agreement. Are there any hidden meanings or subtle messages involved? Clarify if you think there might be more to what they are saying.

Pause before talking – allow the other person to complete their thought, then pause a moment before responding. This is an indication to them that you were actually listening, and now are thinking about your own response before speaking.
Restate your client’s statements – Re-word what you just heard (or thought you heard) them say and repeat it back to them asking if you are correct in your understanding of what was said.

Listening is a skill we can – and should – learn!

Adapted from The Elite Advisor Marketing Newsletter, May 5, 2010.

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