One Secret to Being a Better Leader or SalespersonWant to be a more successful salesperson? A more effective leader? Both?

You can!

And it doesn’t require an advanced degree, or years of study, or mastering some arcane, complex set of skills.

It’s actually very simple. It’s just one thing. Anyone can do it, regardless of age, education, background, or experience.

And you can start doing it immediately! Like, today! Right now!

Ready?

Here it is:

Shut up!!

That’s it. Just stop talking so damn much. Spend more time listening instead.

Most people talk way too much and don’t listen anywhere near enough. But for nearly every aspect of business, listening is far more important than talking.

Listening:

• Gets you data
• Enables you to discover ideas
• Provides you with insights
• Clues you in to people’s emotions
• Makes people feel understood
• Helps people feel valued, respected, and appreciated
• Builds rapport, likability, and trust
• Causes people to be more open to what you have to say

The challenge, of course, is that shutting the hell up is more easily said than done. We all love talking, so we do it as much as possible. We like to prove our knowledge and superiority, be the center of attention, and tell others what to do. And it comes so naturally to us that we don’t even think about it.

Listening, on the other hand, requires conscious effort. We have to fight our natural inclination to talk and let the other person have the spotlight instead. We need to resist the urge to rebut them, change the subject to what we want to discuss, or simply tune them out. That requires focus and an open mind.

But that effort is worth it. You’ll gain more information, make others feel better, and improve your relationships, leading to higher sales and better results.

By the way, talking less and listening more will also strengthen your personal relationships. Try it with your spouse, your kids, and your friends. You’ll be amazed by the effect it has.

Top salespeople and top leaders understand the power of listening and why it can be so much more valuable than talking. So the next time you’re tempted to say something, try saying nothing. Zip it. Button your lip. Hold your tongue. Keep your trap shut. It’s tough, but it’s incredibly rewarding.

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