OK, let’s talk about the art of listening when it comes to sales or just the skill of listening in general . I say it’s a skill because it can be learned and improved upon in time. I feel a lot of Real Estate Agents who don’t do well can be tied to poor listening skills. One of my strengths in sales my entire career is my ability to listen well and connect on a genuine basis with my prospective customers. I want to help you listen better because you will see a huge improvement in your customer relations and your sales numbers will go up.
The Negatives of Not Listening
- Dating—have you ever had a bad date? Had a friend who went on a bad date? What do they say? That guy just talked about himself all night long, his job, his car, his trips—he was so boring.
- Have you ever been to a party and you end up talking to someone who just talks and talks and never let you say a word? Pretty frustrating.
- Bought anything recently? Car? Jewelry? Service? Some salespeople just talk on and on and it’s annoying.
- Have you seen the old Woody Allen movie, Take the Money and Run—great scene when Virgil (Woody Allen’s character) is in jail. He’s in jail quite a bit in the movie. Rather than being put in solitary confinement for punishment they put Virgil in a room with an insurance salesman.
- It’s human nature, we want to talk and express ourselves. Especially when buying or selling a home. Biggest financial transaction for most people. My wife and I just bought a car recently. The salesperson helping us was a professional. He let my wife talk about what she wanted in a new car. What was important to her.
Benefits of listening—
- In general people want to be around people who are good listeners. The art of conversation. It’s a two way street. Think about the last time you had lunch or coffee with someone who you enjoyed talking with. It was a give and take. You talked about subjects which were interesting to both of you and you were able to share your ideas and express yourself. We all want to express ourselves. This is one of the biggest benefits of listening, letting the other people share and be energized during the conversation.
- In sales, good listening skills gets your customer talking about their situation—you learn what is important to them.
- Build the relationship—people love to talk and express themselves rather than being “sold.”
- By letting your customer talk they will tell you everything you need to know rather than you guessing or telling them. Think of yourself like you’re a lawyer—you’re building the case for why they need to buy or sell their home.
- It doesn’t matter what you think or feel, it’s up to them. You can advise them but never make decisions for your clients. Never do this!!!
How to Listen Better—Some Tips
- Make good eye contact. Focus on who is talking. Don’t play on your phone. Don’t fidget.
- Don’t interrupt when they’re talking to ask questions or make a point.
- If you’re at a table then take notes. Ask permission first.
- Don’t sell when you see an opening, remain quiet and let them keep talking.
- Read Body Language
- If you don’t understand a point they’re making then ask them to clarify.
- Ask good questions. Open ended questions to keep the conversation going.
- Concentrate. Keep your mind on the conversation. Don’t daydream.
- Let Silence be your friend. If there’s silence don’t feel compelled to fill it.
- When you do talk, keep it to a minimum. Don’t blab on and on. Short and simple. Don’t put people to sleep while you’re talking.
- OK, here’s a big point. When you’re talking don’t try to show how smart you are. Some people get too caught up in being right about issues and showing how smart they are. This is not important when you’re helping your customers. Help them with the information they need. Don’t lecture them.
- Be calm.