To be truly successful at getting new clients, your passion for your work must be accompanied by three essential skills:
- The ability to ask provocative questions.
- The ability to listen with total focus on your client.
- The ability to relate compelling stories and metaphors.
In this article, I’ll focus on the second of these skills:
The ability to listen with total focus. Anyone who is married knows that we often neglect to really listen to one another. (I could tell my wife Hannah that I got to work 15 minutes late and saw a flying saucer through my office window, and she would respond, “Why were you late? You left on time.”)
We tend to listen to one another, surf the Internet and watch television all at the same time. When we do, the listening part of our multitasking efforts ends up being pretty passive.
Some of my colleagues have taken courses on active listening. In these courses, they have been told “When you’re speaking with a client, stop everything else, put your papers aside, turn away from your computer, make eye contact, concentrate on the words being spoken and don’t interrupt!”