Use the following tips to help you hone your listening skills, win more clients, and close more deals!
Learn to Relax: Have you ever noticed how little information you retain when you’re nervous? Instead of focusing on the other person, you end up worrying about what you’re saying and how you’re coming across—which is super distracting! By contrast, a calm mind is a focused mind, and a few minutes of meditation or controlled breathing before your next meeting could create the ideal mental state. When your mind is centered and your attention is focused on building a genuine connection with your clients, you can open the door to an improved working relationship.
Maintain Strong Posture: Have you ever tried to stay alert while slouched in your seat? Even if you’re talking on the phone behind closed doors, maintaining excellent posture is important because it can help you remain focused and engaged in the conversation. When you’re meeting with a client or prospect in person, strong posture is even more vital as it communicates strength and competence.
Ask Questions: A healthy, interactive listening style will help you feel more engaged and facilitate stronger relationships with prospects and clients. When you ask the right questions, it reinforces your understanding of their needs and demonstrates your desire to perform your job with their best interests at heart.
Stay Organized to Be Mindful: You’ve got plenty of tasks on your agenda, and it’s easy to jump ahead mentally, but letting your mind wander could force you to miss vital information that just might help you serve your clients. Develop solid organizational skills and stay on top of your “to do” list so you know exactly what you need to accomplish each day. That way, your mind is free to remain fully present when dealing with prospects, clients, and colleagues.
Take Notes: Have you ever found yourself nodding in agreement or uttering a passive “Mm-hmm…” during a conversation when, in fact, you have no idea what the other person just said? In everyday conversation, we often gloss over things that don’t make sense or fail to capture our attention, but this is a terrible practice in sales. Taking careful notes can break us of this habit by forcing us to be mindful and ask for clarification when something isn’t clear.
Good listening skills take time to develop, so don’t be too hard on yourself if they don’t come overnight. If you’ve been the life of the party since you learned how to talk, it may be hard to shift gears and let others do the talking while you sit and listen—but doing so may pave the way for solid business relationships and help you earn referrals from satisfied clients.