Listening is truly the art of communication. We have all heard that “you were given two ears and one mouth for a reason; to do twice as much listening as you do talking.” Many of us find this to be common sense and don’t give it the proper amount of attention required to truly master the art of communication. The most effective and most successful HVAC sales professionals just happen to also be the best listeners.
Think about most of the conversations you have throughout the day, whether it is with a spouse, a coworker, a client or just one of your friends. You listen to them right? Of course you do. You hear the stories they tell and the questions they ask, but many times, without even noticing, you hear things that you “thought” they said. In some cases you finished their sentences in your head as they were actually saying they words and in other situations, you finished their thought for them verbally. You knew what they were going to say before they even said it! Can you remember a time when this was true for you?
How many times have you done this and since you were correct, it never even went detected? Probably more times than you can even recall. This actually contributes to poor communication. We are actually checking out of the conversation prior to it even being finished. We aren’t really listening, we are thinking about how we are going to respond. Most people and I mean just about everyone, listens with the intent to reply and not with the intent to understand. There is a big difference!
Go to a business mixer or party with a spouse or friend. When you get to the event introduce yourself to someone you do not know and practice asking them questions that allows you to collect as much information as you can about them. Have them talk about themselves for as long as you can. Keep the conversation on them and share as little as possible about yourself.
After about 5 minutes or so excuse yourself and return to your date for the evening. Shortly thereafter have your friend or spouse go up to the person you had conversed with and make some small talk. In casual conversation have them point you out and let the person know that they are with you and then ask the person if the two of you have met yet?
Have your partner in crime really listen to what the person says. The words they use and the manner in which they use them. If you have done a good job of keeping the conversation about them, the feedback will be very positive. You will have made a great impression and that stranger will think you’re a fabulous person.
On the flip side, do the exact same exercise again but this time when visiting with your subject make the conversation all about you. Who you are, what you do, where you live, what you like to do in your free time, the people you know and on and on. At every opportunity make sure you fill the silence with fun facts about yourself. After about 5 minutes excuse yourself and have your partner see what this person has to say about you later in the evening. There will be a vast difference in this persons reply.
You’re still the same person; the only difference is the focus of the conversation. Love it or hate it the fact still remains that everyone’s favorite topic is themselves. People enjoy sharing their stories and if someone is genuinely interested in them, they will share and share. At the end you’re their new best friend.
This is so important to understand and should not be interpreted as common sense. The first rule in sales is to show other people that you care about them. As the Legend Jim Rohn used to say: “If you care at all you will get some results, if you care enough you’ll get incredible results.”
The very best communicators and worlds best HVAC Sales Champions understand that the words their customers use to describe a situation, an event or anything else for that matter are very important. They listen intently to ensure that they are tuned into the words, the tone, the body language, the reflections and everything else to ensure they truly understand the situation. Then they ask another question to discover more.
The entire time they are actually controlling the conversation and taking you exactly where they (and you) want to go, naturally. The best HVAC sales professionals never actually sell anyone anything, they simply listen to what their customers want and then let them purchase it.
The focus this week will be to slow down and make a conscience effort to really listen to the people around us. Do not interrupt or finish anyone’s sentences and start to ask at least one, if not more questions prior to sharing your answer or opinion during any discussion.
Really focus on monitoring how much of the conversation you’re speaking versus how much the other person speaks. They should always dominate the conversation.
When it comes to powerful communication; The better questions you ask, the more you listen with the intent to understand, the better your HVAC Sales results will be.
If you have any questions related to any of this information or need some additional clarification, please feel free to reach out to us at any time!
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