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The Art of Listening

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Good listening is not just looking at someone and nodding your head in agreement. You have to acknowledge what is being said and let the other person know that you understand. The more you can acknowledge what is being said, the greater ability you have to persuade and influence. Why? Because the person speaking with you will feel important and understood (Law of Esteem). Why is listening so difficult for most of us? Why is it that when two people get together and talk, they both walk away with two completely different views about the conversation?

Active sincere listening leads to more sales increased income and greater enjoyment from the sales profession.

You can’t make a favorable impression if you don’t listen
-Sign of indifference
-Increases Tension

Fortune 500 companies commonly require listening training, even though many employees think it’s a waste of time. The truth is, poor listening skills account for the majority of people’s communication problems. Dale Carnegie asserted many years ago that listening is one of the most crucial human relations skills. Listening is how we find out people’s code, preferences, desires, wants, and needs. It is how we learn to customize our message to our prospects.

Top Five Challenges to Listening Effectively
* Thinking About Our Response. Instead of thinking about what the other person is saying, we often think about what we personally want to say next or where we want the conversation to lead. We are mentally planning our own agenda and game plan. In effect, we patiently wait our turn to talk but we never have give and take between the two parties.

* Not Concentrating. We talk at a rate of 120 to 150 words per minute, but we can think 400 to 800 words per minute. This allows us time to think in between words that are being said. We can pretend to listen while really thinking of something else.

* Jumping to Conclusions. Sometimes we assume we know exactly what the other person is going to say next and we begin forming reactions based on those assumptions. We start putting words into the other speaker’s mouth because we are so sure of what they mean.

* Prejudging the Speaker on Their Delivery and Personal Appearance. We can judge people by the way they look or speak instead of listening to what they say. Some people are so put off by personal appearance, regional accents, speech defects, and mannerisms that they don’t even try to listen to the message.

* Lack of Training. Some people just honestly and truly don’t know how to listen effectively, even if they want to. If they haven’t ever had any training or guidance in how to listen effectively, they may not be accustomed to or even realize the mental effort or level of involvement really required to do so.

75% of top people in sales are introverts

-Low key

-Easy going

-Love to listen

-Interested in the thoughts and feelings of others

Poor sales people dominate the talking

Listening causes people

-Open up

-Feel comfortable
-More secure

If you know how to listen, you’ll always know what someone is thinking and what they want from you. Listed below are the insider secrets for effective listening. Follow these guidelines, and you’ll always be able to get below the surface of your audience:

1. Give them your undivided attention. They are the most important people in the world to you at this time–make them feel that way. Don’t get distracted by your surroundings. Stop talking and concentrate on them.

2. Look them directly in the face while they are talking. Lean forward to indicate interest and concern. Listen calmly like you have all the time in the world.

3. Show sincere interest in them. There is no need to talk. Just nod your head and agree with verbal sounds like “uh huh.” Don’t interrupt and listen for main points.

4. Keep the conversation going by asking questions. Prompt more information from them by repeating their phrases.

5. Use silence to encourage them to talk. You have heard that silence is golden. Being silent encourages your prospects to talk about themselves and reveal truths that will help you in the persuasion process. Pausing for silence shows you are interested in your audience and stimulates interest in the conversation.

6. Pause before replying or continuing. Wait three to five seconds and reply thoughtfully. Don’t leap in, even if you know the answer. When you pause, it shows the other person you consider what they are saying is valuable.


Learning how to persuade and influence will make the difference between hoping for a better income and having a better income. It is the missing puzzle piece that will crack the code to dramatically increase your income, improve your relationships, and help you get what you want, when you want, and win friends for life. Ask yourself how much money and income you have lost because of your inability to persuade and influence. Think about it. Sure you’ve seen some success, but think of the times you couldn’t get it done. Has there ever been a time when you did not get your point across? Were you unable to convince someone to do something? Have you reached your full potential? Are you able to motivate yourself and others to achieve more and accomplish their goals? What about your relationships? Imagine being able to overcome objections before they happen, know what your prospect is thinking and feeling, feel more confident in your ability to persuade.

Kurt Mortensen - EzineArticles Expert Author

Go to and take the free Persuasion IQ analysis to determine where you rank and what area of the sales cycle you need to improve in order to close every sale! Take your test now at

Kurt Mortensen teaches over a hundred techniques to give you the ability to effectively work with every customer that walks in your door. Professional success, personal happiness, leadership potential, and income depend on the ability to persuade, influence, and motivate others. Kurt Mortensen’s trademark is Magnetic Persuasion; rather than convincing others, he teaches that you should attract them, just like a magnet attracts metal filings. He teaches that sales have changed and the consumer has become exponentially more skeptical and cynical within the last five years. Most persuaders are using only 2 or 3 persuasion techniques when there are actually 120 available! Learning how to persuade and influence will make the difference between hoping for a better income and having a better income. Go to and take the free Persuasion IQ analysis.


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  • Posted On December 2, 2006
  • Published articles 283513

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