Issue 10 of The Art of Listening
The following phrase says, “he asks what is relevant to the subject matter and replies to the point.” When you are in the midst of a dialogue with a customer, you want to keep your comments brief and to the point. You ideally want to keep the customers focused on their needs as much as you can. Remember, it’s not about you!
Sometimes, when I’m with a prospect, I lapse into, what my wife calls, “my strident mode.” I sound like I’m dogmatic in the way I come across. When I feel myself getting stirred up, I tell myself to return to the land of listening.
“He speaks of first things first and of last things last.” The goal of your initial conversations with customers is to build a relationship. You don’t want to do what car salesmen do. When a customer walks into the car showroom, the salesman would try to hook them in and start closing the sale by asking, “What color car are you looking for?”
This tactic might work for selling cars. Will it work for you? I don’t think so.
The final phrase, “concerning that which he has not heard, he says, ‘I have not heard,’ and he acknowledges the truth”.
Do you know how hard it is to answer a question by saying, “I don’t know” or “I’ve never heard of this.” I think I have all the answers. After all, I’m the “subject matter expert.” It’s okay to say, “I don’t know.” Will this tarnish your credibility? Will it make you more authentic? Yes. Maybe you will learn something.
Recommended reading: Critical Connections - The Step-by-Step Guide to Transform Your Business Through Referral Marketing by Evan Leepson, MBA