How often have you spent time with a consultant/adviser/sales person explaining exactly what you want, just knowing that they are not listening? Your concern being validated when they open their mouth!
It is a trait of salespeople that I find irritating. The car salesperson rushes off finding the car for you, when he has not even asked what you are looking for! The salesperson in the clothes store is giving you clothes he/she thinks you should like, rather than what you actually want.
It is a trait of very intelligent people too. Their brain is racing ahead to solutions while you are speaking. They truly believe they know what you are going to say … which of course is what they would say!
I can’t say I am not guilty … but if you can recognise that you have this tendency, you can at least try to curb it! That is what I try to do.
There is an old sales adage that suggests you say your piece and then shut up! It can be really hard to shut up when there is so much to say, but really unless what you are saying is actually pertinent to your client why are you taking up their time?
If you are a salesperson, consultant, adviser … or operating in one of those roles the most powerful thing you can do is to ask pertinent questions and then LISTEN to the answers, without interrupting.
Yes I know it is tough … because you are clearly so interesting, because what you have to say is wonderful, because you can really solve a problem for this person (even if you don’t know what their problem is)!
Step 1: ASK A QUESTION!
Step 2: SHUT UP and LISTEN!
Step 3: GO BACK TO Step 1 UNTIL YOU REALLY UNDERSTAND!
Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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