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11 ways to improve listening skills

January 7, 2013 by Ken Dooley
Posted in: communication, In this week's e-newsletter - Sales & Marketing, Latest News & Views - Sales & Marketing

Poor, ineffective listening can cause communication breakdowns, damage relationships and lower trust between you and your prospects and customers. How do you make customers feel like they’ve been heard?

You can make prospects and customers feel heard by using clarifiers. Rephrase in your own words what the person said to show that you not only heard but also understand.

Here are examples of effective clarifiers:

  • For my own understanding …
  • What you’re truly saying is …
  • What I’m hearing you say is …
  • Help me understand …
  • Can you say a little more about that?
  • Tell me more about that.
  • It sounds like the criteria you’re using to make your decision are …
  • What do you see as the next step?
  • Here’s what I’m hearing …
  • How do you mean?
  • Can you say that in a different way?

Using these techniques may meet two core objectives:

  1. Clarifiers ensure you receive the message that was intended. This prevents misunderstandings or placing the wrong meaning behind what’s being heard.
  2. Clarifiers demonstrate to prospects and customers that they are being heard and listened to.

Adapted from the book Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions by Keith Rosen, president of Profit Builders.

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