Effective salespeople ask good questions. However, more importantly, the truly curious (high CQ) are also great listeners (high EQ). Whether you are a naturally good listener or need to work at it, listening is a skill that can be mastered with practice. And passionate listening is the most effective way to convey your intent - finding out how the person you are talking with defines success and helping them get it.
In "Listening is an Art," @MattMayberry shares practical suggestions about how to become a more effective and persuasive listener:
Frame your questions in the context of your client's objectives: Generally, when we enter a conversation, we have a pre-conceived notion of what we hope to gain. When you shift your mindset and focus on what your client hopes to gain, your questions build credibility and provide access to what your client truly believes to be true.
Be present: While I was writing this article, my wife called with something that was important and urgent to her. Rather than closing my lap-top and focusing on her needs, I kept typing while we talked. It took her about 15 seconds to say, "you're obviously busy, never mind." People can tell when we're listening and when we're not.
Validate your understanding: It's been said that "understanding begins with the definition of terms." When we confirm our understanding it demonstrates that we were listening and allows our client to confirm or clarify.
Clue into emotion: Studies have shows that delivery is more important than content. When we can get past WHAT our clients are saying and hear HOW they're saying it, we gain insight into what is truly important to them.
Mastering the art of listening is the most important thing you can do to help others get what they want. And, as Zig Ziglar said, "You can have anything you want in this life if you help enough other people get what they want."