We live in a fast paced world where the latest technology is obsolete within a year. To get ahead we need to think faster and stay 2 steps ahead of the competition.
How does this constant rush affect business? Often in our race to succeed, we are too busy thinking about closing the deal to really pay attention to how to close the deal. There are always subtle clues in the context of conversation that will reveal more than a potential customer is willing to say. Thinking three steps ahead, or focusing on your own priorities will cause you to miss these important clues. Conversations will reveal what is most important to the customer; where they have been disappointed before, and what they currently require.
Mindfulness is the practice of living in the moment; paying close attention to the now, instead of letting the past color your thoughts or the future clutter your mind. Applying mindfulness to sales, means actively listening to your customer, paying attention to body language, and concentration on inflections voices and tone of statements. It is more than hearing what they say; it is truly listening to every nuance of the conversation. It also requires a behavior that is so difficult for most of us – silence.
Next time you are with a customer or client, try the following:
- Sit quietly and stay visually focused on the person speaking.
- Do not start building a response before the speaker finishes.
- Take several slow breaths while you consider your response.
- Rephrase statements back before you respond to ensure everyone is on the same page.
- Resist any urge to look at your watch. Mindfulness is not about what will happen in the next hour or even the next minute. It is about what is happening in that moment only.
These strategies will help you listen to your customers and understand their needs. Before you know it, you will be actively providing solutions, improving customer service, and closing deals.