Have you ever heard about those ideas worth to use when you would like to have an engaging conversation? Thinks like: you need to keep eye contact, you should nod and smile to show your interest, prepare interesting conversation topics in advance (my favourite by far) and summarise what you’ve understood to show your attention.
From now on, you can forget about all of those ‘interesting’ advices. It really doesn’t matter what you will do to ‘pretend’ to be interested in a conversation, when you are really … not. There is only one tip: being here and now. It sounds like a meditation statement, however, it is one of the most powerful skills in sales and interpersonal communication.
Do you remember the time when you had very interesting conversation, which have made you feel so good and fulfil? You probably followed a natural flow and got excited with your caller about different issues or opinions. Did you concentrated on nodding, smiling or summarising? Probably you are not even able to answer those questions, because you wouldn’t remember as this wasn’t important at that time. Your focus was on conversation, other person and their words. There was no space for analysing, thinking about something else or planning next topic. This is what I call being here and now.
You dance with your words, you react naturally and enjoy an exchange of opinions and thoughts. You don’t plan, think in advance or do all other things which distract you from a real conversation.
In sales, most companies teach you all these useful selling techniques and they are good, bringing some results. But the key is to listen, being here and now – that was the most valuable lesson I have learned when I was working in sales.
I remember when my boss told me: ‘Customers always tell what they want, but we don’t always hear that’. Since then, I’ve started to learn how to listen, engage and focus on every single individual I was dealing with. I wanted to get to know people. It doesn’t matter who they are, what they do or how they look. Since then I think of any conversation as a lesson. You can learn from everyone, you can discover something new about yourself, other people and the world.
We are gifted by communication, something what should be our biggest advantage, became principal problem due to smart phones, information overload, rush or our own ego. Conversations are like quick exchange of opinions without engagement (that’s why I’ve got limited time to listen or read interviews on TV or newspaper because they don’t have inside and you can see like journalists instead of listening, they think about next question). But solution is really simple: remember about balance – you have two ears and one month, use them adequately to proportions.