Sharpen your listening skills to get an edge

Listen up. Seriously, listen up. According to a University of Missouri study, the average American spends only about 9 percent of his time writing, 16 percent reading and 30 percent speaking—but a whopping 45 percent listening. That’s a lot of...


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Disengaging is an important skill in ending a sales conversation, especially with a talkative customer. Saying things like, “We both probably should get back to work,” or “John here has been waiting patiently to talk to me, let’s catch up on that next time,” or “Just one more question before I let you go,” may help end a conversation without coming off too harsh.

Be attentive

There are a lot of distractions you face as a mobile. Some are just the typical noises of a shop. That can make it hard to hear a tech talk, and especially a soft-spoken one. Try to remove the distraction by moving to a quieter area in the shop, outside or to your truck.

Distractions can also come in the form of one customer approaching you while you’re talking to another. One way to deal with that is to turn to the interrupting customer make eye contact and let him know you’ll be with him in a minute. That let’s the first customer know he needs to wrap up, but gives him a moment to do so instead of making him feel cut off.

And to truly be attentive, it’s important to concentrate on what the customer is saying and not let other thoughts crowd out his words. That can be a lot harder to do than it sounds, especially when a customer is droning on.

But as you become more active in improving your listening skills, you’ll find you’re noticing a lot more that’s going on around you at your stops. And that won’t hurt your sales.

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