Listening is the greatest skill you can develop and if you’re like me ‘talkative’ it can be a tough one to master. The ability to listen can have a major impact on your business in several ways and put you in control of conversations, which is extremely valuable when talking to prospective clients.

All around you

It can be extremely easy to presume you know exactly what your potential client needs and that your services or products are right for meeting that need. By listening to everything around you it will help to ensure your offering is right and fine tune if necessary.

In addition, it helps to ensure you are using language that resonates when networking and copywriting. Speaking and writing in a way that shows you to be the expert and solution to the problems and challenges being experienced.


Past and present clients

When did you last connect with your past clients? By reaching out to simply say hello and checking in to see how there are doing can provide you with valuable information. That you can then use to analyse your business and offering, testing that’s it’s still right. You might also discover a new need or perhaps a way of repackaging your present services.

Equally, how do you keep in touch and up to date with the needs of your present clients? It can be easy to take them for granted, which can result in losing their custom.

During sales calls

In my view, the art of listening is crucial for sales calls. It’s important to listen for hearing as opposed to looking for the opportunity to speak. We often do this without realising and because we are excited by the conversation – well I do. BUT it can make you appear desperate or worse not listening.

Something I’ve come to realise is that I'm much better at face to face ‘sales’ meetings than calls. It provides me the opportunity to read signals and see when the other person is thinking and needs time to collect their thoughts.

Finally ...

Becoming a better listener will have a positive impact on your business and a skill worth developing for personal development. Before writing this blog, I did a little digging with the help of Google and discovered that:

• Research suggests that we remember between 25 and 50 percent of what we hear, which makes you realise the importance of saying less!

• Words only convey about 7% of what you're trying to say. The other 93% is communicated through facial expressions and tone of your voice. Which explains why I find it easier to have sales conversations face to face!

Practice being an active listener daily to improve the skill and for more ways to improve your listening check out Active Listening: Hear What People are Really Saying.


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