Yada, Yada, Yada,
Blah, Blah, Blah…
Odds are that your best leadership response to other people’s yackity-yack is probably NOT: yeah, yeah, yeah!
When someone who follows your lead is being busy saying nothing (hmmm, sound familiar?), try taking the person off to the side — or into a private setting — and explain that you want to share the value of some of what you’ve learned from successful sales leaders.
Start by noting that virtually EVERY exchange we have with others EVERY day –both on the job and off– constitutes an attempt to sell SOME thing.
Yes, “EVERY” and yes, “SOME.”
Think about it before jumping down my throat with some condemnation for using “ALL OR NOTHING” language. Before you throw exceptions at me, take a minute to dissect them. Odds are you’ll discover that at least one individual in every interaction has a mission to sell her or his self, or ideas, or products or services, or brands, or affections, or . . .
Here’s what the world’s most successful salespeople know and practice: LISTEN 80% of the time and TALK 20% of the time. Maybe not easy, but it IS simple. And it works! This behavior breeds success in all walks of life with all kinds of circumstances where we seek to make a sale or an impression or gain trust or show understanding.
By disciplining ourselves to listen more carefully to those we are charged with the responsibility to lead, and by being more selective and economical with what we have to say to others, we are also becoming more productive with time and energy spent.
When we can save time and energy by communicating more accurately and productively, we are getting a better handle on what others want and need and suggest, and we are saving on wasted time and energy costs and lost opportunities.
But don’t stop there!
Talking less and listening more does NOT mean talking less and HEARING more. Active listening is an acquired skill that involves open body language (no arms, legs, ankles, wrists, hands, fingers crossed and no peering over the top of your glasses), paraphrasing and asking for examples and diagrams, and nonverbal (e.g., head nodding) as well as verbal acknowledgements.
It means paying attention, staying focused, not allowing distractions. Easy stuff? No. Hardly ever is it easy. Active-listening communication is more work and it takes longer. Ah, but you simply can’t compare the success-level results you’ll get with the productivity (or lack of) that accompanies the typical 80% talking communications that surround our daily lives.
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Hal@TheWriterWorks.com or comment below.
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