3 tips to improve your listening skillsBlog added by Dennis Postema on January 9, 2013
Dennis Postema

Dennis Postema

Defiance, OH

Joined: November 09, 2006

The misconception most people have about successful sales people is that they are great talkers. While that may be true about some, the real secret to becoming an exceptional salesperson or advisor is to become a great listener. Many of my new agents make the mistake of trying to talk too much at first, but the truth is they should only be talking 20 percent of the time and listening the other 80 percent. Asking the right questions makes it pretty easy to establish the client's needs and to provide meaningful value to them. Here are a few tips I recommend:
  • Don't ever interrupt. This includes talking over them. They are the client. If they interrupt, it's OK. I always tell my clients, “Please stop me at anytime if you have any questions.” The last thing I want is for them to forget what they were going to ask, and then have it come up later when I am not around to answer it.

  • Listen with emotion and intensity. Many people get excited when they are talking, but you should listen with the same intensity. Don't forget about eye contact and other gestures to show they have your complete and undivided attention.

  • Pause after a question, and then provide value. There is nothing worse than thinking you know the fit for the client before you listen. Listen to their goals and concerns. Then and only then can you come up with the best solutions to their problems and provide meaningful value as a trusted advisor.
So many new agents wonder what the big secret is, or what specifically I say during my presentations that allow me to sell so much. The truth is: If you’re focused on listening to your clients’ needs and providing the best solutions to their problems, you will sell far more than any fast-talker simply by showing how much you care.
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