As we all embrace new technology and lean towards communicating through email and text, we need to be reminded of the importance of listening. Listening to our clients and business associates, in addition to them listening to us, can only boost our market share and enhance our careers. When you read client testimonials praising their agent it is likely you will read: “They listened”.
Listening is a key skill for improving your business
If you are prepared to improve your listening AND speaking skills, the result will be a more efficient use of time. Everyone is appreciative of people who have a full understanding and respect for our busy lifestyles.
Online training courses, sales seminars, as well as successful veteran agents, will always emphasis the importance of listening in a work environment. Their 5 suggested steps to the listening process are:
Regardless of whether you are communicating with your client, your Manager/Broker, your mortgage broker, fellow agents or office staff , the clarity with which we communicate is crucial.
Tips to Improve your Listening Skills
Be silent: don’t interrupt the person that is speaking to you. Occasionally we want to hurry someone along, or possibly think we can anticipate their point or message, but this is the first source of misunderstanding. Let the person speaking finish their thought.
Be aware of your body language: make eye-to-eye contact, don’t keep your arms crossed, nod occasionally to acknowledge you are listening. Your gestures will encourage the speaker to be clear and open. Clarity is always the goal.
Be empathetic: ask questions and support the key statement of the person you are conversing with. They will immediately appreciate you were paying attention and any dialogue will reinforce the main message. There will be less margin for misunderstandings.
Be sure: The time you take to ensure everyone is clear on what has been said will minimize future discrepancies. Problems mean time and aggravation. Listening is the best tool you have to enjoy a successful career.
Tips to Help Others Listen to You
Be clear: In an attempt to convey a message or thought, it is advantageous to take the time to have clarity. Ideally you hope to express yourself if possible in a SINGLE SENTENCE.
Be straightforward: In any communication whether verbal or via text/email, the person with whom you are conversing will appreciate your effort if you are able to make your point in LESS THAN ONE MINUTE.
Be timely: After someone has generously listened to you, be respectful that they too are entitled to respond to your thoughts and concerns.
It is inevitable that all our daily communication will vary from person to person depending on the circumstance. We may not use the same language with a new client as we would with a past client. We may not be feeling kindly towards another agent in the middle of a tough negotiation…but this never diminishes the importance of listening. It is a sign of professionalism and respect.