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 »
The following is an excerpt from Chapter 22 of the book “JUST LISTEN: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone” (Amacom, 2009) by Mark Goulston. The book outlines the effectiveness of various communication techniques and the science behind how the brain switches from “no” to “yes.”
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Take It All the Way to “No”
Benefit: Move a person rapidly through every phase of the Persuasion Cycle from resistance to “doing,” by creating agreement where none exists.
Life is a series of sales situations, and the answer is “no” if you don’t ask.
—PATRICIA FRIPP, EXECUTIVE SPEECH COACH
Walter Dunn was one of the top people at Coca-Cola for four decades. Dunn was responsible for getting Coke many major accounts, including Disney and several professional sports organizations.
Walter told me how years ago he tried to get Coke into one of the main movie theater chains. After speaking with the theater representative for a while, he got this response: “Sorry, Walter, the answer is ‘No.’ We’ve decided to go with Pepsi.”
Without missing a beat, Walter replied: “What question did I fail to ask, or what problem did I fail to address, that—if I had— would have caused you to give me a different answer?” Continue reading »