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Going from Duh to Do – The Listening Edition

I’ve been speaking with salespeople about listening for years.
In every new hire training program I’ve conducted, since 2005, I’ve asked “How many of you have taken a listening class?” As of April 2023 – the count is up to TWELVE… two of those were people whose college major was in music.
I have truly asked over a thousand salespeople that question. Using general numbers, that makes it 1%…
ONE PERCENT of salespeople that I’ve asked have taken a listening class! It’s no wonder year after year buyers complain that “salespeople don’t listen.”
Yet, when I talk about listening it seems that most people claim to know what it TAKES to be a good listener. Which you know is much different from ACTUALLY listening.
There are three reasons that I’ve found people don’t do the things that they know are important for their own success.  They of course are the things you have to change to become a better listener.
1st – you have to care about what the other person or people in the conversation have to say.
2nd – remove obstacles – the biggest of which (at least in my sales experience) is judgment about; finding a business opportunity, moving forward in the sales process toward winning the deal, etc. Basically… the obstacle to actually listening is focusing on (or perhaps hoping to) hearing the answer that makes you feel good.
3rd – start practicing with creating ways (yes plural) to overcome whatever the biggest obstacle to your own listening happens to be.
Over the next three weeks we’ll dive more into the things you’ll have to go from “duh, everyone knows THAT” to doing what it takes to be a good listener.
It’s not going to be easy, but if you keep strengthening your listening skills I promise it will be worth it.
Still working on listening,

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