Strategic listening is an essential skill for networking. Setting our own thoughts and words aside to tune into what others are saying during their commercial is a game we play at BNI to generate more business for one another.
Peter Shankman says in his book Nice Companies finish first. “Be a good Listener” is advice everyone gives but no one takes seriously, right up there with “work out” and “drink more water”
When we are able to hard focus on what the other person is saying, we are better able to see new insights that can make higher quality referrals. Matthew Koerner was asking to meet someone who owns airports and I filed that away in my memory bank. Months later I met a new client who happens to supply airports, airplane owners and hangars with oil. Instant introduction. He doesn’t own an airport, but he knows them all.
Listening to your employees, co-workers and clients is essential to creating solid teams of people that get things done. Some powerful things to listen for are;
What three non business things do you know about this person?
What does this person value?
What are this person’s top three concerns?
What does this person value in life?
These insights develop trust between everyone involved and amazing results. “Understand the deeper meaning of what clients say to get to the root of what they want, to paraphrase Henry Ford, if you ask people what they want, they’ll tell you a faster horse. Know which words have the most meaning.”