A tune you can listen to. A message you can hear.

A tune you can listen to. A message you can hear.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at gitomer.me.

A tune you can listen to. A message you can hear.

It’s a long way from Charlotte to Warsaw.

8.5 hours, and that just gets me to Frankfurt. A little screaming kid forced me to break out my earphones. It will drain my laptop battery faster, and on this ancient (OK, old) US Airways plane, there are no computer outlets. That’s for a $3,500 envoy class ticket. Hell, for that money, they could pass out batteries. (They would taste better than the food — but that’s another story.)

I began listening to my music while I worked on my seminar.

I have more than 1400 songs stored on my Macintosh in iTunes (the music player). Every tune is one of my favorites. Everything from Broadway songs like Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat, from Guys and Dolls, to David Bowie wailing Watch That Man. Everything from 1940’s torch songs to Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life. And of course, the music I grew up with. Fifties Doo-Wop. The Dubs, Little Richard, The Five Satins, and on into the night.

Today I started with Leonard Cohen. A 1960’s legendary folk/rock lyricist of the first order. Anthems like, Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye, and Suzanne. If you’ve never heard them, you’re missing an important lesson in sales. No, not the tunes, the message. Well, the way the message is sung. And listened to.

It was a lesson about how to get others to listen to you.

FACTOID: EVERY sales team I visit, EVERY salesperson I speak to, laments that his or her listening skills are below par. Big deal.
Wanna learn to listen better? Two words: take notes. A bigger question is: How do you get people to listen to you?

Here’s the million-dollar question: Why do we listen so well to music, and not each other?

The answer to that is the secret to understanding of what constitutes, “the science of listening.”

The compelling aspect of Leonard Cohen is that he is listen-able because sings a complete song. He makes listening a pleasurable experience. Everyone wants pleasure. “Music to my ears.” You’ve all heard that. Many of you have said it (especially if you’ve rung the cash register — that’s music).

How pleasurable are you to listen to? What are you whining about when you could be singing? What are you droning on about when you could be making music? Sales music. Service music. Music to profit by.

FACTOID: If you play a song once you may like the beat or the hook. You may want to hear it again. If you listen 50 times (or less) and you can sing it. Word-for-word.

I’m playing the music as I write and edit this. I’m bobbing along with the music I know. Singing while I think and write. Pausing to do both. And then one at a time. Occasionally pausing for a memory, or thought of days gone by.

Leonard Cohen has some of the music I grew up with. And I like the memory association. The familiarity. And of course, the sing-along-ability. I listen.

So. What can you do to get others to listen to your sales song? Well, if you listen to the songs I recommend, the answers will be apparent. Here’s what you’ll learn to do:
Make every word understood. The first thing you are stunned with about Leonard Cohen is how clear his words are. How clear are your words?
Tell a story as you deliver the message. Stories have a hook. Facts are boring.
Use great lyric. Word choice is high in the listening hierarchy. Cohen’s words are chosen so carefully. They are spoken and sung at the same time. They rhyme. And them make sense. They’re cool. Way cool.
The music adds to the message. No one listens to a monotone drone on no matter how important the message. Priests and rabbis spend hours preparing sermons, and their congregants fall asleep in the middle of the message. Whose fault is that? If you make music as you speak, your message gets across.
Add production quality to your words. Words are more attractive if presented in the right manner and atmosphere. Musical words scream “listen!” Consider that your message may not be sung in the proper voice or tune.

Leonard Cohen compels you to listen. What is compelling about your message?
The reason I am so enthralled with Leonard Cohen is that his words are enunciated in a way I’ve never heard. Perfect clarity. And in rhyme that makes the message double clear. Clear words, clear meaning.

What can you do to adapt this method to your speaking style? How can you gain a higher “listen to me” factor? Start with your favorite songs. The music that’s familiar to you. Listen to the voice, not just the music. Listen for the tone not just the tune. And listen to how the melody creates the hook for the message to get through.

Then go buy a Leonard Cohen CD. The two I am listening to are “Songs of,” and “More Best of.” Listen to the clarity of the spoken word. He’s speaking and singing at the same time. Do that.

The listening answer is so simple, most overlook it completely. Just say your words as clearly as you can. Use double-clarity in speech AND meaning. And then add melody to your voice. Sing your words.

If your music is cool, others will want to listen, sing along, and buy.

Free GitBit… Want more stuff about listening? Sure you do. Well, I’ve got a list of rules, ideas, and skill builders on my website. Just go to www.Gitomer.com and register if you’re a first time user) and enter LISTEN in the GitBit box.

Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts internet training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to salesman@gitomer.com