Imagine this: You’re wrapping up a listing presentation and your would-be seller says she has a few concerns. You sit down to hear her out, but somehow at the end of the conversation, you still don’t understand what the big problem is. You try to reassure her but she says, “You’re just not listening to me.” And that is the precise moment where the listing presentation comes to a screeching halt.
Driving back to the office, you start thinking back on the conversation, trying to figure out what happened. It’s reassuring to tell yourself that she’s just one of those indecisive sellers with a communication problem. But in the end, you have to admit you really weren’t listening.
Instead, were you:
- …stepping on the ends of her sentences with assurances that you’re so great that you can handle any challenge that her situation might present, without really hearing what the challenge might be?
- …just trying to capture the factual information and data, while avoiding an emotional or subjective topic that the seller wanted to address?
- …listening only for the problems you were confident you could easily solve, while ignoring other important issues and opportunities?
- …too busy agreeing or disagreeing with the seller to listen objectively?
- …so focused on your next listing appointment to that you couldn’t see the opportunity in front of you?
These common listening styles are identified in Robert L. Finder, Jr.’s forthcoming book, The Financial Professional’s Guide to Communication: How to Strengthen Client Relationships and Build New Ones (FT Press, 2013). While such tendencies can lead to some really frustrating conversations, recognizing them can be the first step to better communication. Continue reading »