Understanding the listening preferences of prospective clients and long-term customers is key to optimizing your organization's ability to procure new business and help your sales departments thrive. Research has shown that small businesses with 100 employees or more can save over $400,000 annually just by making pivotal communication improvements, and this number reaches the tens of millions for larger organizations.
While 95% of people believe that the speaker holds the master key to effective communication, the reality is that listening is just as vital to unlocking the door to understanding and collaboration. In fact, cognitive science has revealed that everyone has a habitual listening style that they use to filter, analyze, and interpret information. There are four primary listening preferences that people use to navigate the world. In 2 previous blogs, we explored some of the defining characteristics of Conceptual and Reflective listening. Here, we turn our attention toward Analytical. Those who are highly analytical listeners find clarity in their communications by considering facts and figures first. This focus on quantifiable information makes this listening preference valuable to a company that bases buying decisions on facts and the bottom line.
Key Ways to Recognize Highly Analytical Listeners
Facts are Their Focus
When you interact with a highly analytical listener, you may notice that they engage in conversation about measurable data, rather than qualitative ideas. They aren't as focused on how your product or service can impact motivation levels, for example, but instead on how it can increase their productivity metrics. Someone who steers the conversation away from emotional engagements and towards how your offering will impact team objectives is likely an analytical listener. People with this listening preference won't shy away from filtering out impractical suggestions in order to find the most feasible options. You'll also notice that their delivery tends to be quite literal, with a strong focus on the details needed for successful implementation.
They Utilize Point-Counterpoint Tactics
Because analytical dominant listeners are concerned with uncovering any issues that may arise from procuring your products and services, they tend to engage in a bit of point-by-point debate. Their aim isn't to discredit you, but instead to ensure that they have all the information needed to effectively assess both your product's benefits, and its potential drawbacks. You may notice that they focus on 'small picture' thinking, and from that space throw out worst case scenarios in order to determine how well your product stands up against everyday issues and challenges. While they may engage in constructive criticism and critiques, they are also level-headed and tend to steer clear of emotionally-charged arguments.
How to Connect With Highly Analytical Listeners
Put the Spotlight on Practicality
The focal point of an analytical listener is how well your product or service can help them turn big ideas into workable results. They are geared towards providing a factual "reality check", especially when they perceive that information seems too good to be true. This means they can lean towards black and white, linear thinking. Showcasing the step-by-step process by which your product can help them achieve their goals and optimize their results is an ideal strategy to grab their attention. It is also beneficial to allow them time to process what they hear so that they feel like they've had the opportunity to 'connect all the dots' on the information you've provided them. By focusing on practical, down-to-earth solutions and avoiding abstract, big picture ideas, you can begin to successfully connect with highly analytical listeners.
Deliver on Data
Since analytical listeners prefer to interpret a conversation through the filter of quantifiable data, keeping their attention means having your statistical i's dotted and t's crossed. That's why graphs, charts, and even white papers can be your best friend in finding a connection point with this type of listener. While they tend not to bring feelings into the mix because of their data-driven style, getting excited about how your product's metrics can help them meet their organizational objectives is a great strategy to help you succeed in forming a cohesive working partnership with them. Providing industry-specific data trends is another key way to win an analytical listener's business.
Benefits of Building Credibility with Highly Analytical Listeners
Their Knowledge is Power
Because analytical listeners occupy a fair amount of knowledge positions within organizations, their advice tends to be well sought after. This means that convincing them of the advantages of your products and services can lead to more widespread acceptance of your offerings by those responsible for making resource procurement decisions. They are also seen as people with high levels of discernment, which makes them advantageous allies in helping to promote your products and create a receptive company culture. Analytical Listeners tend to occupy knowledge positions similar to Reflective Listeners, but Analytical Listeners will also tend to hold positions of technical expertise such as engineering, coding, etc.
They are Practical Planners
Highly analytical listeners use hard data to determine solutions to issues. This makes them experts at finding practical routes to on-boarding your products and services. They tend to 'speak the language' of those who are responsible for resource planning and allocation because they are primarily concerned with objective, data-driven results. That's why properly connecting with an analytical listener by building credibility with verifiable facts and outcomes is such an advantage -- especially when offering more complex products that require multi-tiered integration.
Understanding and Identifying Listening Styles
Whether your sales teams require a deeper understanding of their clients' listening styles, or they seek to get to know their own preferences better, we have expert-designed Listening Intelligence solutions custom-tailored to meet their needs. We assist you in building a culture of listening that helps elevate conversion rates and ensures better long-term customer retention. This not only enhances interactions between clients and team members: research reveals that it also can boost your organization's bottom line. A recent pilot study has shown a correlation between having a supportive and positive listening environment at work with an increase in sales and productivity.
Contact us today to learn how we can assist you in advancing your team communications forward, and help you leverage these improvements to increase sales goal attainment, team productivity, and organizational revenue.