“The Sales Moment; Issue #232″
There may be few of you that are arrogant enough to say, “nope…never!” But for the rest of us, we have all been wrong about something. And if we have been wrong once, is it possible we could be wrong again?
Assumption can be particularly dangerous when it comes to communication and relationships. To assume you know how another person is feeling or thinking about a particular situation can be a disaster. At the root of every miscommunication is an assumption.
Do you openly give unsolicited advice to someone who has been through a tragic loss or difficult life event without knowing fully the depth of pain and despair they are experiencing? Your heart may be in the right place but trying to “fix” them may only lead to more grief. The best way to help is to be supportive and present.
As a salesperson, do you assume you know your prospect’s needs before they tell you? You have made this presentation numerous times. You know the questions they will ask and why your product is the best solution. Right? Wrong!
You cannot begin to understand the thinking of another person until you ask questions and listen carefully to their answers. Our goal should be clear communication and by clear I mean that both parties fully understand one another.
In his best selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey entitled Habit 5 as Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood. He defines emphatic listening as listening with the intent to understand.
Here is an excerpt:
We typically seek first to be understood. Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. They’re either speaking or preparing to speak. They’re filtering everything through their own paradigms, reading their autobiography into other people’s lives.
Do you make assumptions like, “Oh, I know exactly how you feel” and, “I went through the very same thing, let me tell you about my experience.” If you’re not sure, ask someone close to you that will tell you the truth.
We have opportunities to practice the habit of emphatic listening every day with co-workers, customers, friends and family. We just have to make a conscious effort.
Have a great week!