A lot is said in all sorts of places about listening skills and how it’s so important to listen but we see little explanation of what listening well actually is.
How do you make yourself listen better – especially if it’s not a natural inclination of yours?
To start with, consider these three active listening techniques. These are standard methods used by all good listeners – including professional counsellors.
So you’ve written a great little tweet, it’s snappy, contains a couple of your best keywords and you’re over the moon that you created the whole thing in 139 characters. A tweet can contain up to 140 characters so you have one character to spare!
Wrong. The tweet is approximately 15 characters too long.
As a business owner or manager whether you speak to prospective clients face-to-face (trade shows, networking events, etc) or via the telephone (cold-calls, incoming enquiries, referrals) the fact remains that the better your sales skills the more of those communications you will convert into paying business.
If you’re going to be having these selling conversations you might as well be good at them.
If possible, be really good at them because the business owners or managers who are best at selling are the ones who are also best at earning.
Whether they realise it or not, for many business owners success lies not in providing a better product or service (although this is always desirable) but in
It’s simply not true that people don’t like salespeople.
What people don’t like is what some salespeople do. The primary selling crimes are these:
It’s a cliché but it’s what every savvy marketing person knows: your list is a business asset and that business asset can make your business.
What is a ‘list’?
A list is simply the collection of people who filled in the form on your website giving you their name and email address – and maybe some other details if you asked for them. It is a list of names of people who visited your website – with (at least) their email addresses.
These visitors gave you their contact details because you offered them in return something useful, informative and relevant to the product or service they’re interested in.
That list can be an absolute goldmine – a business asset beyond compare. Here’s how it works:
You’ve just read your friend Mary’s most recent comment on Twitter and you want to respond to what she said.
If you use Mary’s twitter handle – @MaryLx6, say – within a tweet that you write then where in the tweet that her handle appears determines who will see it.
- If it appears as the first item of the tweet then Twitter regards the tweet as a reply.
- If it appears within the text of the tweet it is regarded as a mention.
Replies and mentions are handled differently – they are displayed to different people.
Here’s a couple of examples:
It’s said that for almost any meaningful activity the first 15% of effort will pretty much determine how the other 85% will progress.
I’m not sure where those figures come from but I agree with the general principle: that the preparation, the knowledge, the tools and, importantly, the attitude you start with will set you in a direction – and at a speed – that, unless altered later, will result in a particular outcome.