Are You a Good Listener?

Robert Terson

My father, an old sales warhorse who passed away in January 2010, liked to remind me that there was an excellent reason we had two ears and only one mouth.  “A true sales professional,” he’d say, “needs to know how to be a good listener, it’s absolutely vital”; smart man, my father.

As I said in another blog, the more information a salesperson elicits from a prospect, the better his chances to close the sale.  Fortunately, every prospect has a story to tell, valuable information he wants you to be aware of, and is dying to tell his story, provide you with that golden information; unfortunately, most salespeople are in a rush to engage their mouths instead of their ears; they can’t wait to dive into their presentations, talk their heads off.  However, if you take the time to search out what your prospect has to say, desires above all else, what his passion is, what his problems are, you’ll be teed up for a hole in one; and isn’t that a whole lot sweeter than a blind shot out of the rough?

After you ask each one of your questions, listen carefully.  Absorb every word as though your life depended on it.  As my father said, becoming a good listener is vital for a salesperson; it requires great dedication and lots of hard work, uncanny concentration.  If you don’t think so, why is it you can ask someone his name and a minute later you can’t recall what it is?  It’s happened to all of us.  Careful listening is so rare nowadays it’s become an anachronism.

Being a good listener is one of the main attributes that separate the great ones from the also-rans.  You can have everything else going for you, be professional in every other aspect of selling, but if you don’t have the patience to listen carefully to your prospects/customers, you’ll never be a top-tier pro—period, end of story.

Today is the first day of the rest of your selling life.  Go out there and ask the necessary questions—then LISTEN CAREFULLY!  Every word you absorb is going to make money for you!