Before I start this post, I want to remind you all to VOTE TODAY!!

And now the post:

Honestly, I wrote enough about sales in the last post on this subject.

If you don’t get that the best way to sell, the best way to set an appointment and the best way to handle objections is to first ask good questions and then shut up and listen, please go back to the previous post.

And, as with many lessons, this goes way beyond sales.  This goes for your life.  Your relationships will be so much better if you just shut up once in a while.  Just listen to what people have to say.  And I don’t mean hear their words.  I mean listen to them, and get where they’re coming from.

Stop thinking you’re the smartest person on the planet.  You don’t know everything.  You really don’t know what a person is going to say next, or what they really mean when they say it.  You only have your perception, your opinion about what they meant.

And, since your perception is rooted in your own survival, you’re really not thinking about the other person’s meaning in the way it was probably meant, were you?  Actually, you’re thinking about the other person’s meaning pertaining to how it affects, and more often than not, how if offends, you.

Ever have a conversation where you wonder what the hell the other person is so upset about?  You know, where you think you’re having a regular conversation, maybe even a debate or slight argument, but no matter what you say, the other person seems to get more and more upset or angry?  They don’t seem to hear anything you say; they keep coming back at you with things that are almost irrelevant, things you didn’t say, do or even think.

Chances are that person is having a conversation only with themselves.  They have their preconceived notion of your meanings and intentions, then they filter it with their perceptions, and viola!, it’s a full-on fight and a half.  And you’re thinking, “What the hell just happened?”

SHUT UP!!!!!  Take a breath.  Listen.

The person on the other end is doing the best they can.  More often times than not, they’re just trying to protect themselves from their perceptions of you and your intentions.  Your friends and loved ones don’t purposely look to upset you, or wrong you.  Your clients and prospects just want to make sure they’re not getting screwed.

So, instead of attacking or defending or justifying, why not qualify?  If something can be taken two ways, and one of them makes you sad or angry, the chances are that wasn’t what was intended by the other person.  So, take a breath and ask them what they meant.  And don’t ask them in a nasty way.  Ask them nicely to explain what they meant.  Most likely you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

That’s why the old addage is so true: you were given two ears and only one mouth for a reason.  You should use your ears twice as much as your mouth.

Scott Friedman