Do You Want to Become Super in Sales? Shut up and Listen.
Do you want to sell more? Do you desire to be more successful? Do you want to communicate more effectively? Then you have to become a great listener. Yes, that is right. We must learn to quit talking and start listening. If you have lost sight of the importance of listening, let’s review.
It has become apparent to me, now more than ever, in our constantly-connected and rapidly moving world that being really good in active listening is vital. Moreover, I argue that listening skills are far more important, in many cases, than speaking skills. I guess that is why we often hear the expression “we have two ears and one mouth" for a reason.
Why is listening so important? All humans (no matter their age, gender, race, nationality, etc.) have the deep desire to truly be heard. In addition, we seek appreciation and a feeling of connectedness with others. Many painful times in our lives have resulted from saying something we did not mean (to someone else), or not saying something we should have. Why did many such instances occur? You got it—we were not “actively” listening.
Other missed opportunities for growth occur when we fail to further develop a relationship because we do not take the time to get to know another person better. In other words, we have talked to them OR at them a great deal, but have learned little about them. Why? We have been more focused on our own needs, wants and desires.
The people I enjoy the most, in all parts of life, are those who are the best listeners. These people make me feel important and like what I share matters. Don't we all want to feel that way?
So, I throw the challenge out to you. Will you work to improve your listening skills? Trust me, you can read every sales book and go to every sales seminar; however, without the mastery of active listing skills, your career will only go so far.
I challenge us all to get better. Listen more and yes, shut up, and talk less. If you want to get to another person’s deep-level “why” (as I cover in section 2 of my book Would You Buy from You?), listen and truly try to understand why a person thinks the way he or she does. I call it an “under-the-iceberg mindset.” The secret to sales is simple: There is no secret. You must understand others at the deepest level and provide information to them in manner that fits their needs.
I challenge you, as I have done to myself, to continually strive to improve your listening skills. Strong listening skills not only will make you a better person– but also a better professional, communicator and salesperson in any endeavor. If you would like one tip that is easy to implement, of how to listen more effectively, please feel free to email me and I will share it with you. Listen up, have a great week. @RyanSauers
Ryan T. Sauers has spent 25 years leading and/or consulting with printing, graphics, promotional and visual communications related organizations. Ryan is President of the independent consulting firm, Sauers Consulting Strategies, founded in 2010.
Key areas of focus of the firm include: sales training, marketing strategy, personal branding, leadership development and organizational change.
Sauers is a frequent national speaker and columnist. He has been recognized as one of the top 80 CMOs in the world and achieved the top designation of Certified Marketing Executive through Sales and Marketing Executives International.
Sauers is an adjunct university professor teaching leadership and communication courses to current and aspiring leaders. He is a Certified Myers Briggs, DiSC and Emotional Intelligence Practitioner (one of few in US to achieve all 3 rigorous certifications related to human communications, personality & behavior).
Sauers is working on his Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership and hosts a radio show in Atlanta (Marketing Matters). He is author of the best-selling books Everyone is in Sales and Would You Buy from You? More info at: RyanSauers.com