“Remember, you have two ears to hear and one mouth to speak. Master your listening, and you will be the master of your sales and your leadership.” – Meshell Baker in today’s Tip 1602
Do you master your listening?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from Meshell Baker, our favorite sales confidence igniter and authentic selling crusader. Here she is:
Meshell Baker: Hello, and welcome to The Art of Listening. Today we’re going to talk about your ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process of being a top seller and a top leader. You see, when your listening is not effective, you will not have the ability to hear messages. What happens is there’s misunderstandings, there’s miscommunication, and there’s misinterpretation, what leads to a breakdown, so there’s no sale for the sellers, and there’s no great relationship with the leader and their seller. And what happens is there’s a lot of irritation, there’s a lot of frustration, which does not lead to transactions.
Now, Richard Branson frequently was quoted in saying, in less than five words, listen more than you talk. We have two ears to listen and one mouth to speak. So out of these tips, there are seven.
The first one is stop talking. If I can’t say it even more clearly, stop talking. When you are actively listening, you cannot be talking. And when someone immediately starts talking after someone has finished, you have not listened. Anyone who is truly listening will pause and take a beat, and they will actually then start speaking after there is a slight pause.
Two, prepare yourself to listen. Relax. Think about the outcome of this conversation and that it’s going to leave the person that you’re speaking to better for having spoken to you. That requires relaxing because when you are in a sales process or when you’re a leader talking to a seller, you tend to get excited as you listen to them. If you actually built a big vision about your outcomes, you’re going to be easily excitable. So relaxing yourself prior to that conversation will help you have a better outcome of listening throughout it.
Always, number three, put your speaker at ease. The person who’s talking, remember, you want to gesture, you want to encourage them, you want to have physicality so that they know that you’re fully engaged in the listening.
Which leads to number four, remove distractions. If you are on a meeting on your laptop, then you expand the screen so it takes up everything so you do not see your emails or other things or your calendar in the background. Fully engage with eye contact with them. If you’re in person, remove all paper distractions to your phone, turn it off. Let people know that you are all about the conversation and the listening of them.
Five, avoid personal judgment. This is hard. People will say things and statements and words that will trigger you to start to think that they’re wrong. I do it myself and become engaged in the fact that it’s a perspective. You’ve never had this conversation with this person before. This is the first time you’ve ever engaged in this conversation, so there will be something that you will learn or something that you can use, or something that empower a powerful outcome for all involved. Remove the judgment and just listen openly for the opportunity to create and collaborate on something amazing.
Listen to their tone. There are people who use big gestures and words or people who talk quietly. Everybody communicates in a different way. So your ability to see past just the words and look at their tone and to not judge their tone as well as you’re looking at it. I tend to be very loud and verbose and very active in my hand usage and my facial expression, what I’m talking, and other people can have a very deadpan. It does not mean that what they’re saying is less important or vibrant or meaningful than what I’m saying, so be able to listen for the tone, and then you do the follow-up questions to engage and get clarity.
And then number seven is listen for ideas, not just words. And this is your ability to, when you’re listening for ideas, you are actively engaging in the follow-up to clarify what was just said. Well, I think I heard you say, or if this is correct, so you are going back and you’re clarifying. Before you make advice or say anything, clarify as much as possible. And the best way to do that is to summarize it by listening for the idea or the key of what they just said and say it back to them and get clarity.
The key to all of this is listening. Remember, you have two ears to hear and one mouth to speak. Master your listening, and you will be the master of your sales and your leadership. Have a great day selling.
Scott Ingram: If you love listening to Meshell, tell her that and subscribe to her newsletter. You’ll find those links at DailySales.Tips/1602. Once you’ve done that, be sure to come back for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!