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.

12.5 Rules to observe to maximize your listening skills…

  1. Don’t interrupt. (But…but…but)
  2. Ask questions. Then be quiet. Concentrate on listening to understand.
  3. Prejudice will distort what you hear. Listen without prejudging.
  4. Don’t jump to the answer before you hear the ENTIRE situation.
  5. Listen for purpose, details, and conclusions.
  6. Active listening involves interpreting.
  7. Listen to what is not said. Implied is often more important than spoken.
  8. Think between sentences.
  9. Digest what is said (and not said) before engaging your mouth.
  10. Demonstrate you are listening by taking action.
  11. Ask questions to be sure you understood what was said or meant.
  12. Ask questions to be sure the speaker said all he/she wanted to say.

12.5 When you stop listening because you’re SURE you know the answer BEFORE the other person is finished talking…your answer is usually wrong.

A Few Listening Skill Building Ideas – Shhh…

  • Look right at the person you’re listening to.
  • Focus your attention on the words and their meaning.
  • Limit distractions (even change locations to listen better).
  • Visualize the situation in your mind’s eye.
  • Visualize your response or solution before responding.
  • Listen with an open mind.
  • Listen to the content – not necessarily how it’s being delivered.
  • Use occasional listening noises… wow, gosh, then what, really, that’s horrible, great, that’s too bad, I didn’t know that, I see, gee.
  • Write things down as others are speaking.
  • Verify the situation (sometimes) before giving feedback.
  • Qualify the situation with questions before giving feedback or responding.
  • Don’t interrupt the next time you think you know the answer.
  • Go for an hour without speaking.
  • Next time you eat with a group, don’t talk for the first half hour.
  • Ask questions to clarify — to show interest or concern — to learn.

The only person who loses by poor listening skills is you!
Are you listening?