Active listening gets results

Active listening skills help to demonstrate a firm’s ability to meet a prospect’s needs. Good listening plays a large role in developing a close personal relationship with a prospective client. The goal of a first meeting with a prospect is to build a relationship by conveying your sincere interest in the person and the issues or problems they face. The best way to do this is through the practice of good listening techniques. Below are some listening tips that can help produce the results that you want at the first meeting.

Be attentive
Pay close attention to what the prospect has to say. If you don’t understand something, ask the prospect to clarify it for you. Let them complete their thoughts, and only ask questions about what they have said. In doing this, you demonstrate that their views are of paramount importance to you.

Pay attention to body language
These observations will help you understand the prospect’s real feelings about the facts, figures and ideas that are being discussed. You also need to be aware of your own body language. As a listener, you will be telegraphing your feelings and opinions to the prospect.

Be open-minded
Don’t let any preconceived notions make you “hear something different” from what the prospect is actually saying. And withhold judgment and comment until you’ve heard all the prospect has to say. Learning not to jump in too quickly turns a good listener into a better listener.

Be empathetic
Express an empathetic understanding of the prospect’s needs and concerns without passing judgment. This will not only show you care and understand the problem or issue, it may help you close the sale.

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