With better listening comes a better understanding of your team’s and client’s needs. When you hear and internalize what they are saying, you can present valuable solutions and set yourself apart as a trusted resource instead of someone who is simply trying to generate revenue.
While most professionals know the importance of listening during team, client, and sales calls, many find it difficult to pause their own talking. Instead, they are often so excited to get the appointment or to pitch their product or service that they do not take a moment to listen to others.
Sometimes, silence is golden. It is a chance to focus and listen to what the team, client or prospect has to say. The more skilled you get at listening, the more effective your sales conversations will be.
Only ask one question at a time
To learn as much as possible as fast as possible, many leaders will ask a series of complex questions that run together. This can be confusing to your team and clients. It is difficult to fully respond to two, three or four questions at a time. Instead of addressing all your questions, the people you are asking will likely choose the easiest one to answer, and you will not get answers to your other questions. To listen better, the first step is asking the right questions, and asking one at a time.
Actively listen and take notes
The key is to stay active in your listening. You cannot actively listen if you are thinking about what you want to ask next. You can listen better by coming prepared with questions you want to ask. This allow you to take notes without wondering where the conversation is headed. Consider that taking notes also keeps you focused on the task at hand and helps you when you return to the office to resolve the issues at hand.
Ask, listen, ask
You can also improve your listening in meetings and calls by stopping and listening after you have asked a question. Do not jump into follow-up questions or rush into your solutions without fully listening to the answer to your question. Remember, you are there to uncover needs and understand how you can help them. If the people you are meeting with are not giving you much to work with, you can always say, “Tell me more.” This gives the others time to expand on their answer and gives you more time to actively listen.
Listening well is a crucial skill in being successful. You can help your team improve their active listening and boost your own listening skills by remembering to only ask one question a time, taking notes during sales conversations, and pausing before asking a follow-up question. People who excel at listening can start more conversations, uncover more challenges and goals, and solve more problems. And this will help you thrive.