The art of lis­ten­ing

South Western Times - - Business -

HAVE you ever felt the sales per­son you are deal­ing with is just not lis­ten­ing to you?

They talk over you, ask the same ques­tion twice, or worse still, don’t ask any ques­tions at all.

Per­haps you or your em­ploy­ees may be guilty of this your­self, in your own busi­ness.

One of the fun­da­men­tal keys to build­ing trust with peo­ple is to be­come an ac­tive lis­tener and to take the time to re­ally hear what the other per­son is say­ing.

That means ask­ing the right ques­tions. Ques­tions that get peo­ple talk­ing to you, not just re­spond­ing with a yes or a no.

Ask­ing a cus­tomer to tell you about some­thing can es­tab­lish a con­nec­tion.

Ap­proach­ing a cus­tomer with the words “Tell me how I can best help you” or “Tell me about your week­end” for ex­am­ple, lets peo­ple know you are tuned in and re­ally lis­ten­ing to them and this can launch into a rather in­ter­est­ing dis­cus­sion.

By tak­ing the time to re­ally lis­ten to your em­ploy­ees and cus­tomers and gain valu­able feed­back in the process, you will build a loyal fol­low­ing for both your busi­ness and your brand.

Here are some tech­niques to be­come a more ac­tive lis­tener:

When ac­tively lis­ten­ing to some­one, lean for­ward slightly and make eye con­tact, and don’t for­get to smile.

Fo­cus on the per­son you are talk­ing to and don’t be dis­tracted by what is hap­pen­ing around you.

Re­sist the urge to in­ter­rupt and pause for a few sec­onds be­fore re­spond­ing.

Ask open ques­tions, use the ‘tell me’ tech­nique.

Lis­ten with your ears, eyes and heart. Prac­tise em­pa­thetic lis­ten­ing, by putting your­self in the other party’s shoes.

When you utilise these sim­ple tech­niques in ev­ery­day life you will find your re­la­tion­ships with those around you will take on an en­tirely new pos­i­tive per­spec­tive.

Busi­ness South West of­fers free con­fi­den­tial ad­vice for ev­ery as­pect of a busi­ness.

To make an ap­point­ment with of our ex­pe­ri­enced ad­vis­ers, call 9792 2666 or email ad­min@busi­ness­south

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