“A wise old owl sat on an oak. The more he knew the less he spoke. The less he spoke the more he heard. Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?” – Ernest Hemingway
Early in my sales career I worked for a VP that would personally lead our training sessions.
Her philosophy for a “successful” sales call was for the team to spew out the amazing facts about our product.
We were NOT encouraged to ask questions.
She thought asking questions gave up control of the conversation.
She believed we had a much better chance of connecting and influencing by making strong statements and doing all the talking.
Would you be shocked to learn that despite having some of the most talented, energetic people I ever worked with, this team never hit their quota?
No question, this was a bad idea.
This week we continue with our series on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Habit #5: Seek First to Understand, Then Be Understood.
What’s one of the worst characteristics of sales people?
For me, it’s listening to respond rather than listening to understand.
The fastest way to connect with another human is by LISTENING.
Listening will separate you from the masses.
3 Killer Phrases to Understand, Before Being Understood:
- “So what you’re saying is…”
- “From your perspective, you feel that…”
- “So what I am hearing is that you think…”
2,000 years ago the stoic philosopher Epictetus wrote, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
It takes courage to stand up and speak.
It takes even more to keep quiet and listen.