Listening Makes You Smarter
“You’re not listening to me!” – One of the worst, yet most valuable sales lessons I’ve ever experienced. I was in a sales call when the prospect made this very accurate assessment of me. He was absolutely right as I spent most of my time thinking of what to ask and how to stay on track, missing all the cues he was giving me – all the education I had to learn from what he was saying. So worried I would miss something important in the sales process, I missed the most important part – what mattered to him!
I’ve heard it said that listening makes you smarter. Does listening really affect IQ? Not likely; but then again, what difference does IQ have on our ability to develop and grow relationships? In this sense, “smarter” is about listening to the point of knowing what questions to ask – because people tell us! Learn all about this in Allan Pease’s short, but powerful book called Questions are the Answers. Questions lead to answers that in turn develop into smarter, deeper, more relating questions. While hearing is passive, listening is the active part that happens after you have asked a question. This is where you apply their answers to your next questions. Want to get to know someone? Ask questions, listen, ask more, and listen more. Truly, most people will keep providing fuel for you to keep that conversation going, making you far more interesting and attractive than the passive listener.
According to Jim Rohn, “One of the greatest gifts you can give someone is the gift of attention.” Very few would disagree with the value of truly giving someone your full attention. My wife has often said, “People move to where they feel valued.” Think about that. Your kids, your spouse, your friends, your co-workers, your prospects and your team – they all move to where they feel valued. Are they moving toward you?