Written By: Deborah Gavello
People may claim that they are good listeners, but are they really? Only a small percentage of people truly listen to what is being spoken.
Some people may listen about 50 percent of the time and during the remaining 50 percent, they are formulating their reply. How can you truly listen if you are preparing your next statement? You cannot do it.
The Profit and Value of Listening
I have helped my client’s improve their staff’s listening skills for many years; this piece will give you some tricks to improve your listening skills.
Why are people in such a hurry to get their thoughts out of their mouths? I believe it is the fear of forgetting one’s thoughts, before the other person finishes his/her sentence. How many of you have had the following thought race through your mind while listening to a very slow speaker?
“Hurry, hurry. Will you finish already; I have the answer on the tip of my tongue.” If this sounds familiar, you are not alone.
The difficulty with this thought process is that you have already stopped listening to what is being said. If your facial expression has changed and a speaker can see you have tuned him/her out, you are not only being rude but you are also not providing the kind listening skills you most likely would prefer to demonstrate.
“Let the person finish speaking completely, before even thinking about you are going to say next.” Deborah Gavello
Good listeners are hard to come by, and when we do find one, we enjoy being in their company. Don’t fret; not everyone was born a great listener, but it can be learned. Appreciate that you can’t simply will yourself to be a better listener. Reading this article will help and it is a start-but only a start. You have to be willing to change your old behaviors and be receptive to ideas and a new way of listening. With an open mind, and a lot of practice you can change and improve your listening sills.
This being said, how much greater would the value of any company be, if all of the employees understood all of their firms products and services and listened to customers? We all know that customers want the attention they deserve, or they will take their business elsewhere. This is the reason why it is so important to both train your employees on how to do their jobs and how to interact with customers.
Put down the cell phone! Take your fingers off of the keyboard! You can’t really listen if you are looking at texts and emails.
Should firms, have a safe drop off spot for all cell phones when employees get to work? (Schools do this in New York City)
An important side note: Recent statistics estimate that if a company spends 2 percent to 5 percent of its annual payroll on employee training, it should realize about a 10 percent increase in net profit. Furthermore, companies with superior customer service and loyal customers can charge up to 10 percent more than their competitors.
if you train your employees to provide superior customer service, including listening skills, your net profit can increase by 20 percent.
It is so important that you do not think of a conversation as a game of ping-pong in which the plastic ball has to go quickly back and forth. A conversation is a meandering walk, in which you should stop to smell the flowers along the way.
TOP THREE SECRETS
1) Pause after someone finishes a sentence and really think about how to respond. It not only shows that you care about what the speaker had to say, it shows that you were not thinking about your reply while he/she was still speaking.
2.) When you are not ready to listen fully, tell the person that seeks your attention that you need an extra minute or two, and then you will be able to give him/her your full attention. Example, “If you give me a minute to finish this email, I will be able to focus better on what you are saying.
3.) Bite your tongue, wrap a rubber band around your wrist, hold your fingers tightly, but don’t interrupt the person who is speaking.
As always, good luck and good selling. Follow me on Twitter
Do not re-produce in any form without written permission from Deborah Gavello
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