We remember 70% of what we say and write down and 90% of what we say and do when we are actively listening, however, we only remember 20% of what we hear. Being a great web consultant takes time, training and experience, but we have some simple tips to considerably improve your consultation.
Often, when people talk to each other, they are planning what their response will be to a particular point, or, are distracted by things that have nothing to do with the conversation.
Only 4.5% of the time we spend in communications situations is actually listening and because listening is traditionally learned as passive and not active communication, our ability to successfully reason and review requires active listening coordination, a communications skill that requires better practice.
Listening is not only helpful, but the most important skill as a consultant.
Active listening is usually an area that business owners and marketers are less trained in, and because of this, business processes and sales revenue suffer in many ways which often produce negative outcomes such as:
Studies show that poor listening skills are the most common cause of loss of productivity above any other cause. When one or more person is involved in a communication exchange, the value of each person’s skills is needed continually in order for the business process to run efficiently.
Without clear communications, business sales decrease and what should have been positive, are now negative outcomes
Lack of knowledge
When you sell a product or service and your customers don’t have the information and insight, there is a loss of productive results.
If you were making a purchase and you didn’t understand something about the product, would you stop to research it, or move onto a product or service description that you connect with and understand?
In business, over 80% of communication must be repeated 3 or 4 times in order for the message to be clearly understood.
Poor interpersonal relationships
A message that isn’t communicated clearly, isn’t heard. Often in sales, managers put out their demands and expectations from their point of view and fail to extradite their self-perception. When people don’t feel connected, they don’t feel accepted and this leaves room for misinterpretation and questioning of motives and intent.
Inactive listening still remains routine and unintelligible for many businesses, though, here are 5 ways to improve active listening to have an immediate positive impact on your next consultation.
- Don’t interrupt
Not only is interrupting rude, but you’ll miss important points your prospect is saying.
They may have had other things to share that would help shape your conversation and lead you close to providing insight on a solution to their problem, but this won’t happen if you interrupt and the conversation loses momentum.
When you have an important point to clarify, make a note of it to clarify later once the person is finished speaking.
- Clarify and paraphrase
Pay careful attention to words and try paraphrasing their thoughts in your own interpretation before responding.
When responding use the keywords that they use, though make sure you understand them. Doing this demonstrates to your client that you’re paying attention and their points are clearly understood.
- Ask questions
By asking questions to understand more about the problem to the solution that you want to solve, demonstrates that you are actively listening and sincerely interested in developing the best solution for your customer’s needs.
Don’t make assumptions, instead,close any gaps by asking more questions, this will also give your prospect the confidence that you are listening carefully and care about what they have to say.
- Remain calm and in control
In order for communication to be effective, the communicator needs to listen to what is being said by the prospects personal tone of voice and stress levels and learn to recognise how the volume, speed, and tone of people’s voices can indicate how they’re feeling.
Respond to emotions by remaining in control of the point that you are making whilst acknowledging their emotional expression in a calm manner.
- Provide nuanced responses
By remembering small nuances from earlier points during the conversation and referring to them later will help you to stand out to your client and they will appreciate your value of them.
When you take mental notes during your conversation, include those personal anecdotes you remember so you can use them when you follow up. Acknowledging these cordial references will help you build rapport with your prospects.
Better communication leads to an increased ability to remember more, improves your ability to reason and have progressive communications relationships with your customers and clients.
Active listening saves you having to go back and find out information, and builds a greater foundation of knowledge to establish better solutions.