What we hear is not the objective of our communications: connecting is. As Senders, we speak as part of the communication process; as Receivers we hear as part of the communication process. But unless there is a completed cycle of Sender → Receiver → Sender, and a connection occurs in which there is mutual understanding, there is no communication. Given those guidelines, are you connecting with your buyers?
As sellers, we end up biasing many of our conversations due to the sales process itself. When we enter conversations with a goal in mind – to discover who might have a need for our solution, or seek an appointment, we bias the conversation and limit the connection. Not only do we listen only for what we want to hear, but we pose questions to get the answers we think we need and miss all that might be possible.
- Someone does have a need and their buying path is too complex to discuss with a stranger?
- The response you hear is unconventional and you wrongly assume it’s not a prospect?
- It might be an appropriate prospect who can’t meet with you due to time constraints and you could become creative together and have a Skype meeting?
- What if you hear what sounds like resistance because you’re not getting what you expected and you could be facilitating a buying decision?
Because we bias our conversations with buyers, we restrict possibility. We get lost on our end of a conversation, and don’t enable something larger, like being real facilitators to a buying decision. When we make assumptions, we teach buyers how to defend themselves against our folly rather than work together creatively. When we misunderstand, mishear, or misinterpret, we lose buyers because our conversations seem to be about us, not them, and they feel ignored, abused, or as if they are pawns in a game not of their making.
It’s possible to hear your buyers without bias, assumptions, or misinterpretation, in order to achieve true communication. Are you willing to relinquish your restrictive goal and consider an inclusive one that enables creativity and leadership? Are you willing to truly communicate with your buyers?
Sharon-Drew Morgen is the author of 7 books on sales/Buying Facilitation® including NYTimes Business Bestseller Selling with Integrity and Dirty Little Secrets. Her new book What? (offered as a free download at www.didihearyou.com) is considered a game-changer in the field of Listening, and is useful in all business and personal conversations. Sharon-Drew has created online learning material that corresponds with What? and is available for coaching, training, and speaking.