3 Techniques to Be the Best Sales Listener

October 17, 2017

The best way to build rapport with clients is by listening to them. Many people are naturally predisposed to talk—listening is a true talent, says John Asher, author of Close Deals Faster and CEO of Asher Strategies.

“Talking too much is a pervasive problem in the sales training industry,” Asher says. “But if you listen first and have an intelligent conversation, you’ll be able to completely address the buyer’s needs.”

Asher’s first key to being a better listener is making sure your total focus is on the buyer or seller’s point of view. Put yourself in their shoes to understand their needs, which may be the pain of an existing situation or an opportunity for something more desirable, he says.

Next, when you’re meeting face-to-face, ask permission to take notes so that you can remember the details of your conversation. Taking notes demonstrates what they’re saying is important to you and that you’re taking all their needs into account.

Asher’s third tip is to summarize and repeat back what your clients have said so that everyone is on the same page.

If you’re meeting for the first time, Asher suggests using LinkedIn or other web-based sources beforehand to learn something you share an interest in, so you can insert that into the conversation. It’s good to review the fundamentals: Using people’s first names and a friendly tone of voice are helpful. Eye contact, a warm smile, and a firm handshake are also go-to standards for building rapport, he says.

—Erica Christoffer, REALTOR® Magazine