In October, 2019 I spoke in Moscow along with Nobel Laureate, Daniel Kahneman, and introduced my latest work on the topic of listening and how when you focus on what people are listening to and then talk to them, you have a transactional conversation and they may give you their minds for the duration of your conversation. However, if instead you focus on what people are listening for, let go of any self-serving agenda and instead focus on delivering on that… they’ll give you everything.
Now even if the above makes a compelling and convincing case, you’re possibly still hesitant to focus on what other people are listening for and to do that with a genuinely sincere and enthusiastic beginner’s, non-personal agenda driven mind.
What’s still holding you back?
It’s often three things that trigger the trifecta of fear, doubt and shame which will stop anyone from such self-less listening:
- Fear – If there is pressure on you to “close” a sale or make a deal and you focus on what another person is listening for, you might realize that what they need is something else much more urgently than what you’re selling. And you’re afraid that if that is surfaced in the conversation, that they’ll realize it too and go after something you’re not selling.
- Doubt – Furthermore, it what they really need isn’t what you have and you don’t have a clue how to help them, it not only triggers fear that you’ll lose the sale, but that you’re clueless about helping them with what they really need and then have to awkwardly tell them you can’t help them.
- Shame – This is final nail in the coffin and possibly the deeper reason you don’t focus on what they’re listening for. If you realize that even though you speak about being of service, you really don’t care about anything else they need that is outside you’re making a sale or being hired, you will discover that you’re being disingenuous, dishonest and a hypocrite. And that can cause shame.
Why you should still focus on what people are listening for, how to do it and how that will increase your long term success.
I am a collector of people who are excellent at what they do. By that I mean, they are consistently better than very good. When I can refer them to people to solve a problem or meet a need that I can’t, it builds appreciation and trust from a potential customer or client that doesn’t need what I have to offer but will be grateful that I helped them solve a pressing problem by introducing them to someone who will help them.
It also frees me to truly focus on what people are listening for because I have collected so many people who are truly excellent at what they do.
I make one to two introductions a day and I don’t take any fees for making introductions or referrals. What I do however is tell the excellent person I am referring to also focus on what that person is listening for and to not hard sell them.
If I have focused well on what potential clients and customers (that I refer to other people) are listening for and have matched them with someone who is excellent in serving that need, all that is necessary is for the two of them to have a conversation where that need and a solution to it gets revealed.
For those of you that are still worried about not closing a sale, this approach will make you much more successful in the long run because:
- You will feel freed of having to push something on people that they and you know they may not imminently need and then have them resist.
- The customer or client will develop trust, gratitude and appreciation for you focusing on their real need vs. what you’re selling and providing them with someone to fill it.
- The excellent person you’re referring – unless they are a “dyed in the wool” taker – will also be grateful and appreciative to you and be motivated to return the favor. But here’s the caveat. Make sure you’re excellent at what you or your product does.