How To Best Connect By Listening
Listening may not seem like the most crucial skill, but failing to hear what your business partners and clients are saying can spell failure for business owners. Communication is a crucial part of business success, and learning to listen is an integral part of being a successful communicator. To help you become the best listener, consider this guide.
- Be Quiet: We too easily associate silent moments during a conversation with awkwardness, but letting the conversation breathe with a few pauses can actually encourage a deeper dialogue. Do not be afraid to take a moment to process what the other person is saying. That way, you will not miss out on important communication.
- Be Thoughtful: When another person is talking, do not just be thinking of what you will say next. Let your mind slow down from always having to have a quick retort, and pay actual attention to the person who is speaking.
- Be Brave: A fear of looking foolish can keep you from asking questions, but that can also mean you miss out on important information. If you are unsure what the person speaking is talking about, do not be afraid to say, “What I think you are saying is _______? Is that accurate?”
- Be Encouraging: People are much more likely to engage in a conversation when they feel that what they are saying is being appreciated. As you listen, look for ways you can validate what the person is saying.
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Networking is one of the most vital techniques a business owner can take advantage of. Often, someone you know is the perfect person for a job. Rather than making the common mistake of transforming your networking techniques into sales pitches, try making networks from your existing contacts. Gathered are 10 helpful tips to guide you in creating a network:
- If you are going to network with existing contacts, you must come off as professional and strong. All new introductions should be initiated with a firm handshake and direct eye contact. When you come off as sincerely eager, others will want to work with you and keep you as a contact.
- Many business owners fail to utilize the benefits of listening. Listening to a client will allow you to best see what their interests are and what really bothers them. Listen for any clues that may benefit your business endeavors in the long run.
- In the business world, you must be able to successfully continue conversations with open-ended questions. The questions you ask in a conversation will determine how much an individual opens up to you. Your interest in their line of work and opinion will allow you to better develop rapport.
- Whether it is family interests or sport hobbies that you both have in common, find that common ground and stand on it. If you both have children who play soccer, build rapport on that.
- Business owners like to have conversations with people who have a vested interest in their organization. Doing your research can pay off in the long run.
- When you help your clients build their business, they are likely to return the favor.
- If you are able to connect one of your network connections with someone else in your network, do so. Being a resourceful person is something many individuals look for in a trustworthy partner.
- Creating a network is not your only responsibility. It is equally important to maintain your network and associate yourself with people that best represent your network.
- Always honestly present yourself. Nobody wants to work with someone who changes their persona to meet the interests of each unique client. Always stay true to yourself.
- Most importantly, always follow up with connections in your network and continue building relationships.
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