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In the military you stand at attention because it shows respect and reflects self-discipline. Perhaps paying attention in sales shows the same thing.

Respect: paying attention shows respect for many things, perhaps most importantly to the person in the conversation. Which is critical when it’s a prospect or customer… although no less critical if you’re speaking with a coworker when you think about it.

Think about the conversations you’ve been in where you truly felt the other person was focused on you. How did you feel? What if you created that feeling in the people you work with, do business with, would like to do business with?

Giving someone your full attention, isn’t free because paying attention takes mental energy and effort.

Self-discipline: is also required to pay attention. Especially in a world full of IM, text messages, email alerts, etc. Add to those external distraction all thoughts swirling around in your head which pull you away from listening to the person you’re with and it’s a powerful recipe for inattention rather than paying attention.

Perhaps that is why we say pay attention, because there is a mental energy and effort cost.

To build relationships we need to pay that cost and be attentive. Listening to the other person instead of allowing ourselves to be distracted… because you are ALLOWING the distraction. Don’t cop out and think you don’t have the self-discipline to control it – you do!

This week exercise your self-discipline and show respect to the people you’re working with by paying attention.

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