“What we have here is a failure to communicate.” This familiar quote was taken from the movie Cool Hand Luke starring Paul Newman (1967).
Communication, when properly executed requires a “sender” and a “receiver.” Most people are pretty good at “sending.” Where the ball is dropped is when it comes to “receiving,” or listening.
Starting today, you must give this element of the communication process (listening) more than just lip service. You have to actually hear what other people are saying, and make every effort to interpret what is being said.
Not listening to what others are saying while waiting your turn to speak is a common error. It is a mistake that comes with huge repercussions. You see, nobody cares about what you want or think, unless it ties directly to what your customer is interested in.
I don’t know how to make this complicated. Once you get the customer speaking freely and comfortably about their ideas, wants, needs, and desire; you’re bound to witness a sale unfold before your very eyes. You’ll become a spectator and won’t have to say or do much more. Ask for your customer’s input, and then listen like your future depends on it.
It will help the communication process if you repeat back to the speaker what it is you think you heard…and then listen some more.
People who are in the market to buy either products or services are more likely to buy from you if you simply act as a guide, a sounding board, and as a valued source for information.
You have undoubtedly heard the real estate mantra that the three most important determinants of value are: location, location, location. In sales, the three most important determinants of your value to the prospect are: listening skills, listening skills, listening skills.
If you want to position yourself at the top of the professional sales roster, start honing your listening skills – sooner, rather than later.
Mike Marchev freely shares his experiences, strategies and observations with travel professionals in an effort to keep them on top of their game. For a complimentary copy of his 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.