3 Essential Listening Techniques That Will Help You Charm Your Prospects

learn active listening skills

Do you have difficulty selling your products or services? What about convincing others to do what you want? This is a common issue that many face as entrepreneurs. The simple truth is this: influencing people is hard. Even so, it’s a skill you must learn if you are going to be successful as an entrepreneur. If you learn active listening skills, you will have a much better chance of succeeding.

What would happen if you tried to start a business without being able to convince others to buy your amazing product? What about not being able to get your team to buy into your vision? Or how about convincing investors to give you funding? Most of what you will do as an entrepreneur is sales.

Trying to grow a successful business without knowing how to be persuasive is like trying to make your car run on air. It just won’t work.

So what do you do?

Easy. You learn how to sell! Learning how to sell means that you have to learn active listening skills.

A few weeks ago, we discussed the importance of selling and why every entrepreneur needs to develop their sales skills. Being proficient in the art of persuasion is absolutely essential in just about every aspect of the entrepreneur’s life.

The good news is this: sales can be learned. It isn’t some inborn trait that only some lucky people possess. With time, work, and patience, you can learn how to persuade.

This posting is going to discuss one of the most important skills to learn in order to become persuasive: listening. Being a good listener is important because it helps you understand your prospects better. This makes it easier to address their needs when it’s time to present your offering.




If You Don’t Learn Active Listening Skills, You Won’t Be A Good Influencer!


Time for a story!

About a month ago, my wife and I decided to buy a new car. We had a certain amount of money that we were willing to spend and since my wife was going to be the one driving the car, she knew exactly what she wanted. After endless hours of searching online for the right car, test driving vehicles, and making tons of calls, I finally found something promising.

So my wife went to the dealership while I was at work. She was going to check it out and test drive the car. What she reported to me afterwards was a great example of two different types of salespeople: a great salesperson, and one that has no business trying to sell.

When my wife arrived, she was greeted by a salesperson who asked her what she was looking for. To us, safety was most important A fter finding this out, the salesperson proceeded to show my wife the car. She explained all of the safety features, how they worked, and how they would keep our family safe.

During the conversation, one of the sales managers came over and spoke with my wife as well. She explained to him what she was looking for and what was important to us. The sales manager proceeded to center his pitch on all of the luxury features of a different vehicle. He tried to sell her on all of the “bells and whistles.” He focused on all the things we didn’t care about.

Which one do you think was successful?

If you guessed that the first salesperson got the sale, you’re absolutely right. Why? Because she paid attention to what our needs were, not what she thought was important.

The key to being a good influencer is being a good listener. After all, why should someone buy what you’re selling if you don’t care to understand what they need? This is why you need to learn active listening skills.


Essential Technique #1: Ask Open-Ended Questions!


What’s the key to becoming a world-class listener? Asking great questions. If you ask the right questions, you will find it easier to figure out what your prospect truly wants and needs.

How do you ask good questions? Easy. Make sure that your questions are open-ended instead of close-ended.

What’s the difference?

Close-ended questions can only be answered by saying “yes” or “no.” Open-ended questions can’t be answered this way. They require more of an explanation.

Here’s some examples of close-ended questions:

  • Do find it hard to raise your employees’ morale?
  • Are you planning to grow your business this year?
  • Do you plan on hiring more staff?

While these questions will provide you with some information, they will not give you as much information as an open-ended question. Let’s see what happens when you turn these close-ended questions into open-ended questions.

  • What challenges have you faced when it comes to incrasing employee morale?
  • What are your growth plans for this year?
  • What’s your plan for adding more employees?

These questions force the prospect to give a more detailed answer. This is what you want. In any situation where you need to be persuasive, it is essential that you find out as much information as possible before giving your pitch. Open-ended questions are the best way to accomplish this.


Essential Technique #2: Re-state the Customer’s Words


When the customer is speaking, you should be making sure you understand exactly what is being said. You must show your prospect that you are actively engaged in the conversation.

What’s the best way to do this? By repeating what they said in your own words. When you do this, it shows that you truly desire to understand where they are coming from. It shows your customer that they are important. It also allows you to clarify what they are saying.

Here’s a good technique to use: instead of just repeating what they said, first say something like “I want to make sure that I understand what you just said.” Then re-state their statement in your own words. Then, ask if your synopsis was accurate. Even if you were way off, the customer will appreciate the fact that you are willing to work to understand their point of view.

Doing this has two huge benefits: it helps you better understand your customer’s pain points, and it sends the message that you truly care about them. Do this, and your prospect will be more open to hearing what you have to say.


Essential Technique #3: Shut Up!


This technique goes perfectly with essential technique #2. If you’re going to be an active listener, you must learn when to keep silent. When you are at the listening phase, the only words that should come out of your mouth should be questions. Clarifying questions. To make sure that you understand what your prospect is saying.

The best rule of thumb when you are trying to influence someone is to let them talk as much as possible. The more they talk, the more they will trust you and the more you will learn about them. This will make it much easier later on when it’s time to discuss how what you’re offering can truly benefit them.





If you wish to learn active listening skills, apply these techniques. You may not be able to master them overnight, but it will get easier. By asking the right questions, reaffirming what the customer is saying, and letting them talk as much as possible, you will learn everything you need to know in order to make your sale.






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