Are you REALLY listening?
What separates great sales people from mediocre ones? A lot of factors, but there are a few that stand out. Interpersonal communication is one area in which everyone could stand to work on.
Take, for example, active listening. It can be an exhaustive skill—one that is valuable to have, today more than ever. And it’s one that many find challenging to master in this busy and wired world. (Ever heard of phubing?) This has real consequences on your relationships.
While most people don’t intend to make the other person feel disrespected, this is a possible outcome if you’re not deliberate in your communication. The good news is that each and every interaction presents an opportunity to do better.
But where to start? In general, when you are preparing to communicate with someone, you should think about them and not yourself. Craft your message for their understanding and then go from there.
The following are 4 tips to help you connect on a deeper level, by embracing active listening in any setting.
1. Hear: Focus on the speaker. Consider what is being said and the meaning behind those words. You’ll no doubt need to look at their body language and other nonverbal cues for context.
2. Interpret: Communication is a two-way street, but sometimes we fail at this very basic interaction. To build rapport, perhaps paraphrase the message you’ve heard to ensure you’re on the same page. The lion’s share of misunderstanding occurs at this step, so don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions. It shows the other party you’re engaged and invested in their viewpoint.
3. Evaluate: What does this mean to you, and what do you need to do with this information?
4. Respond: After you’ve had time to digest what you’ve heard and analyzed, you can respond with an informed statement or question.
Like any skill, active listening is something that can be honed over time. How might you work on active listening this week? Also, don’t forget that your team needs coaching to learn how to have more productive conversations. In addition to these soft skills, you need to set them up for success in other ways. You need software that helps them succeed, too. If you’re looking for reliable, high-end technology services, please contact us at Thatcher Technology. Our Prowess platform supports improved MLM retention by making the experience better for your salesforce and customer base. Contact us today for a demo: (630) 696-4545