Listening Skills: Did You Hear What He didn’t Say?

Improving your Listening Skills can definitely help improve your communication skills that can help you improve your income.

The easiest way to improve your Listening Skills is to hear what you customers and clients don’t say.

Let me give you an example.

Suppose you ask your client, “How old are your kids?”

Your client might answer, “Seventeen, nineteen and twenty-two.”

You now know not only how old they are but how many kids your client has.

You asked one question and got three answers.

Hold on, I will tell you the third fact later in the article.

Suppose you client answered, “Let’s see, Sarah is 17; Steve is 19, and Sharon is 22.”

Now you know four things – The names, ages, and sexes and a fourth thing we’ll talk about soon.

Or suppose you hear this.

“Sarah is 17. She will be a senior in high school next year and plans to go to Harvard to become a lawyer.

Steve is a freshman at Notre Dame and is the starting left tackle for the fighting Irish. He’s looking for a career in the NFL.

And Sharon graduated from USC and has started her own company in Silicon Valley.”

Now you know the names, ages, sexes, education background, plans and fifth thing about your client.

All you did is ask one question and you gained all this information.

Actually, you gained more than information. You gained a strategy on how to communicate with the client, a strategy on how to build rapport, and a conversation opener the next time you talk to your client.

The mystery piece of information you gained with each reply is the communication style or personality of the person.

Have you ever noticed that some people like a lot of information, need a lot of information, and give a lot of information?

Others don’t want or need a lot of information. Unless you give them just the details they need, you can see their eyes rolling in their heads because you gave them too much.

So, if your client answers, “Seventeen, nineteen, and twenty-two,” the chances are pretty good he or she does not want to talk about his or her personal life and wants you to move along to the business at hand. Skip the small talk. Get down to business.

If the client answers, “Let’s see, Sarah is 17; Steve is 19 and Sharon is 22,” the chances are pretty good he or she is open to personal discussion, is willing to share information, and should be pretty easy to talk to.

If you get the third reply, you know you may have to spend more time with this client when you speak with or write to them.

Remember the old saying, “It’s not what you say, it’s what you don’t say.”

Good listeners know that’s true and use that piece of information to their advantage when they communicate.

They also have learned how to use the five different types of questions to their advantage. But that’s a topic for a different article.

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