Your degree of success as a sales professional is directly related to your ability to listen. The primary goal, in the early stages of any selling process, is to gather relevant information. Only if you listen well will you be able to determine if the deal works for everyone.
Best course of action: Close your mouth and open your ears.
Listening is far from a passive activity. You must pay attention to every word and NOT be thinking about how you’ll respond when the other person is done speaking. Other key details include listening for their tonality of speech, which often imparts a message independent of the words. Watch or pay attention to the non-verbal messages too — facial expressions, breathing, clenched fist, etc. These indications will speak louder than their words. And do not interrupt. Let them finish and then ask your questions or make comments. This will allow you to hear their entire thought and maybe even gain a deeper understanding of what they are really saying.
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