I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say, “I hate sales.” Whether they said it from the perspective of “I don’t want to sell,” or “I don’t like the feeling of being ‘sold’ to,” I get it. I hate the typical notion of sales as well, what it is and how it’s generally done. But that’s not how it has to be. We can shift that paradigm by making sales about learning and listening first.
This is the first blog in a series of three that will explore active listening, cognitive diversity, and then how they combine to create even greater business success through Listening Intelligence. The first step to improving your listening is to be an active, attentive listener – let's explore this below.
Listening is half of the communication equation. The benefits of listening intelligently are profound, especially for your sales team—those on the front lines working to increase revenue and profit for your company. In fact, one study of 267 leading U.S. businesses found that upgrading your team members' communication effectiveness is associated with a 30% improvement in your organization's market value.
I just had one of those nightmare sales situations. Maybe you can relate? Once the rep started talking, he didn’t stop. He gave me every detail about his product and service without stopping to take a breath, never mind to ask me questions about what was most important to me. Even worse, what he was explaining had no relevance to what I really needed. I was being “pitched” and up sold, and I didn’t like it. He didn’t get the sale.
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.
Studies have shown that people retain just 25% of what they hear due to jam-packed schedules and a lack of understanding about how to effectively listen. One of the most impactful ways to increase lead conversion and boost sales is to ensure that your teams on the front lines of product promotion have a full understanding of how to communicate with different types of customers. Listening Intelligence means using cognitive-based information to learn how people hear, filter and interpret data in order to help alleviate any obstacles to effective communication. By learning the details of how the four main listening styles show up in the world, you and your sales force can gain a competitive edge over other organizations in your industry.
Sales is less about having the right opportunities and more about handling those opportunities right. That's why empowering your sales team to fully grasp and excel at the entire communication equation is so advantageous for their productivity, morale, and ability to accelerate your company's financial goals. In fact, research reveals that high-performing sales organizations are twice as likely to offer supportive sales training than their low-performing competitors.
Understanding the way others listen can help you communicate more effectively with them. The ECHO Listening Profile teaches you to recognize four distinct types of listening: Connective, Analytical, Reflective and Conceptual. We all exhibit some combinations of these different styles. However, one style is often more dominant than the others. Recognizing a listener's dominant style is essential if you want to communicate well with him or her. In this article, we'll be looking at people who are highly Conceptual Listeners.
If you hire or manage people, you’ve probably encountered at least a handful of assessment tools. There are dozens of these tools on the market, and each promises insight into the minds and behavior of your team members.
Effective listening is essential in all industries and environments. Active listening is often recommended as a way to improve your listening skills. As it turns out, however, listening actively is only the first step if you want to really understand others and communicate effectively with them. Let's look at why it's essential to be a good listener and why it's important to go beyond just active listening.