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If you're not a good listener, you can't be a good salesperson. Continuing the thread we began last week, here are nine "people" inside you who will make you a poor listener and derail your sales call:

  1. The Mind Reader doesn't hear any of the words the prospect says because he's too busy trying to figure out what the prospect is really thinking or feeling.
  2. The Rehearser is so busy thinking about what she's going to say, she never really listens to what the prospect is saying now.
  3. The Filterer practices selective listening, hears only what she wants to hear.
  4. The Dreamer drifts off, starts thinking about other things. This can lead to an embarrassing, "I'm sorry, what did you say?" experience.
  5. The Identifier relates everything he hears to his own experience. Often, so busy drawing these parallels, he fails to hear what the prospect is really saying.
  6. The Comparer concentrates on the person he is talking to--comparing him or her to other people he has dealt with, which prevents him from hearing.
  7. The Derailer changes the subject too quickly, and sends the message that she wasn't really interested in what the prospect was saying.
  8. The Sparrer actually hears what is said, but immediately jumps to counter it, appearing defensive--which can make prospects suspicious.
  9. The Pleaser agrees with everything the prospects say and wants to give them anything they want.

If you see yourself here, work on your communication style. One thing that will help you while you're trying to get better is having a call plan. If you have a destination, i.e., you know what you're trying to learn, and you've developed a smooth arc to the sequence of your questions, it will be easier to recognize the irrelevance and counter-productivity of these inner personas' mental messages, and you'll be less likely to indulge them.

Mike O'Horo


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