The Art of Listening

In a previous post, I went over ideas on how to Wow a customer. Here’s another thought I had on that topic.

The Art of Listening. You are probably saying that you do listen. You hear every word a prospect or customer is saying, or do you?

Here is an example of what I mean. When I wanted to purchase a specific vehicle, I went to the dealer and outlined for the Salesman that I wanted a Two Seat Convertible. He proceeded to show me a 4 seater that wasn’t a convertible. I don’t know what he was thinking.

My business went to the dealer in the other town who showed me specifically what I wanted. He listened.

Has anyone else had a similar experience?

13 Responses to “The Art of Listening”

  1. This is so common that when I actually find a person who hears me, I want to make them my best friend.


  2. Jim TenBrink says:

    Hi, Ken. Sales is a tricky process. The car salesman above is a great example of not listening. However, great sales people not only have to listen to what the customer wants, but also consult on what the customer really wants… uncovering those hidden hot buttons that the customer never new he had. Often times customers come in with an exact need, only to leave with a different product that gets them even more enjoyment.

    To success!


  3. Merl Miller says:

    In financial services, this behavior will get you in trouble. FINRA the regulating body for stockbrokers has strong, enforceable rules under the category Know Your Customer. Even insurance agents who don’t sell investments of any kind have fiduciary responsibilities. Yet, I can’t tell you how many prospects I have met that have had this experience with a financial adviser. So, even when it is against the law to sell in this manner some people blunder ahead. Crazy, isn’t it?


  4. Beth Manus says:

    Hi Ken, Yes, I understand what you mean. In our fast-paced, get it done culture, many people forge ahead without really taking just a few moments to actively listen to someone. I always appreciate it when someone is listening to me. In turn, I make an effort to return the courtesy. Sometimes, I have to catch my breath,listen patiently to someone else to be sure I’ve really heard what they say before I respond.

    Best Wishes to all,


  5. Alena says:

    yes, it happens all the time :) trying not to react…
    in the meantime here are something to use for your websites!


  6. Bill Cross says:

    Great example. The car salesman probably heard what you said, but failed to really listen. Like him, I can be guilty of getting too wrapped up in my response to have taken the time to properly listen.


  7. Yes that has happened when we have been looking for houses, when I have had my cut. It is amazing how people don’t listen. Always, when I have clients I listen to what they say and then do my best to give them what they want if it is possible. So yes a lot of business can be lost if you don’t listen or are not available to your clients.


  8. Same thing, I wanted to buy a house “away” from the waterfront – floods. Every Real Estate Agent wanted to sell me a water front property. We bought off the one that listened. We still deal with him 20 years later.


  9. Nadia says:

    This happens much to often. The “art of listening” is somewhat lost. People in general do not take time to hear but rather struggle to be heard. Can someone listen without hearing? If I take the time to listen and understand the need, I gain a friend and loyal customer.


  10. S. Diane Pearson says:

    I have and continue to have experiences such as this. The art of listening is challenging for many. My personal favorite is the over talking that sometimes accompanies this behavior.

    Nadia: I think people do listen without hearing, and people also talk without sending a clear message.

    Having effective communication skills is beneficial to the sender and the receiver.


  11. D kelly says:

    I hear you!
    I tried once to buy a car from a Dealership that serviced my car for years. The salesman tried to qualify me by asking how much I wanted to spend. I suggested he show me styles and I’ll make the decision on how much to spend. Not getting it again, i went to the dealer next door and purchased to date, 9 cars. It pays to tune in.


  12. Lucille Ferry says:

    I have often encountered this as I speak to people about The Foxglove Foundation. They perceive that I am talking about another homeless shelter that will become a place for those with substance abuse and mental health issues. I often have to repeat myself so that they will hear that we help regardless of income, employment or social status.


  13. John Holbrook says:

    Hi Ken: I really enjoy your blog. You may not remember me but I sat with you at a Joel Bauer two day Seminar in Calif. two years ago this month. I enjoyed getting to spend that little bit of time with you. My wife and I work as volunteers at a employment office in Albany Oregon every Friday. Your Blog about the car salesman not hearing what you say is very tipical of many of the people we try to help find employment. they do not hear what we are telling them about how to dress or present themselfs or the education they are paying for that will not help them get a job and many other things we try to help them with. Keep up the good work. Thank You John Holbrook


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