What would that be?
- Would it be to make more calls? Close more deals?
- Travel more? Or actually, travel less?
- Hire managers and salespeople more quickly and with few mistakes?
- Plan my time better for the week or for the month or quarter?
It looks like 2018 will be a year of significant change for me, so while all of the bullets above are actually pretty good ideas, and while I can always do better, my one resolution is both simpler and more complex. Simple, because it actually is, but, more complex because I always want to express my opinion, when in fact, I should just shut up, not speak and listen much more completely.
The One Simple Thing, for me to improve on in 2018 is LISTENING!
- Listening is the #1 most critical skill in executing discovery in any sales process!
- Listening is all about understanding the needs and wants of the other person!
- Listening, when properly done, will yield you everything you need to know!
Below is the copy from a recent WSJ journal article, that not only defines this self-improvement idea, but also places a very executable tactic into our hands, or in this case our ears, as to how to do improve our listening ability. I've known for a long time that I don't listen all that well, and maybe the issue has been that everything that I've read about how to improve was either too academic or too complex for the immediate reality of a sales situation. This idea, on the other hand, has a rhythm to it in its mantra of...
"Listen, Breathe, Listen"
"Steve Miksis, a 66-year-old accountant in Santa Rosa, Calif., believes there is no greater gift than genuinely listening to a person, without interrupting or judging or inserting your opinion. And so he works hard at being a better listener.
He employs a technique he learned when he was mountain climbing on Mount Whitney in California. While descending a particularly harrowing passage, he felt panic rising. He thought of an article he’d read about how the Marines train their snipers to “plan, breathe and execute,” because deep breathing dissipates cortisol. Then he plotted out his next step, sucked in a deep breath, and took it.
Now, he reminds himself to “just breathe” when he is listening to someone, especially when he starts to feel defensive, or triggered to react. As he takes deep breaths, he says, his hearing sharpens, he becomes more attuned to non-verbal cues, and he feels more emotionally open to what he is hearing. “That breath stops time—it gives you a space and it gives the other person a space,” he says."
New Year's Resolutions Typically Don't Last
And, why is that? The same reason that most new gym membership peak in January and fall off in June. It's simply hard work to consistently execute set against seemingly impossible goals like losing 20 pounds.
This mantra of "Listen, Breathe, Listen" on the other hand is both simple and repetitive. Try it out as I am now doing for the month of January, and let me know if it works. The same goes for any other simple, easy-to-understand, self-improvement sales tactics you would like to share with the rest of our readers.
Welcome to 2018, the year to crush our quotas!
Have a great day selling!