Sales Skills

The Art of Listening…Leading to Active Listening

The art of listening is an essential skill to be successful in the business world.  Listening represents your efforts to hear something.  Active Listening is a more advanced skill…a communication technique that requires you to offer feedback so the speaker knows you understand what has been said.

So, what do great listeners do?

  •  Probe for clarification
  •  Summarize well
  •  Empathize
  •  Listen for what is different, not for what is familiar
  •  Take it all seriously (they don’t say, “You shouldn’t need to worry about that”)
  •  Let the client “get it out of his or her system”
  • Ask “How do you feel about that?”
  • Keep the client talking (“What else have you considered?”)
  •  Keep asking for more detail that helps you understand
  •  Get rid of distractions while listening
  •  Ask how you think you might be of help
  •  Look at (not stare at) the client as he or she speaks
  •  Make it seem as if the client is the only thing that matters and that you have all the time in the world
  •  Encourage by nodding your head or giving  a slight smile
  •  Be aware of your body movement (no moving around, shaking legs, fiddling with a paper clips, etc.)

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For more ideas on how to break the commodity trap connect with Beyond Insurance and Scott Addis on:

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