When clients are talking, you may hear them, but are you truly understanding what is being communicated? To avoid missing critical information that can affect your business, establish a habit of active listening.
Go Beyond the Words
When listening, observe body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions. For example, a raised eyebrow or quickness of speech can change the meaning of what is said. If the nonverbal cues don’t match, seek clarity by asking follow-up questions.
Jotting down key points not only provides a better opportunity for recall and follow-up; it also shows that you are taking what is being said seriously.
While you should affirm you are paying attention by nodding or with a small comment, don’t jump in with solutions. Instead, give your clients time to express their needs or concerns to gain a deeper understanding of their goals.
Do your buyer’s expectations seem out of line with the current market? Before you respond, repeat or paraphrase what you heard to get confirmation.
Improve with Practice
You are busy. It can be hard not to multitask. But the more you focus on what your client is actually communicating, the stronger your relationship will be.