The more you listen, the more you are fascinated by what people have to say, the more they will like you, trust you and want to do business with you.

When the customer speaks, the skilled salesperson listens with full attention. When you listen, you learn what matters to the customer. And there’s an added bonus – listeners quickly become popular.

Below-average people monopolise the talking. Above-average people monopolise the listening.

Martina King, when she was Managing Director of Capital Radio in London, told the story of how she called on a prospective customer and somehow allowed the prospect to tell her about his family, his kids and all the difficulties he was encountering. Driving back after the meeting, Martina thought what a waste of time that was. She felt guilty at not making her presentation and selling her product

The next day he phoned and booked an ad – the first ever from that account.

Rapt attention is the highest form of flattery

Listen to people as if you have all the time in the world. Whenever you speak to a customer, visualise a neon sign above their head reading ‘Make me feel important .That is just as vital as matching their requirements.

Give the impression that you value the relationship more than the sale. Your personal mission is to do everything possible for your customers to make sure the full resources of your organisation are utilised to help them achieve their objectives by using your products and services. It’s a problem-solving partnership.

Respect the other person’s view

The secret of good listening is to listen in a way that empowers the speaker. Whenever we feel respected we get a warm feeling. We instinctively think better of the other person. We think they are smarter, more capable and more trustworthy – after all, if they see the best in us they must be very shrewd.

The better you make the customers feel about themselves, the more they will like you and trust you. The secret of getting people to like you is deceptively simple – like them first. And the secret of getting people to respect you is respect them first.

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