The ability, the desire, and the patience to listen are necessary if you want to achieve greatness in sales. Unfortunately, most sales people tend to talk more than they listen. Here are three strategies that can help you improve your listening skills in both face-to-face meetings and when speaking to people on the telephone.

1. Plan. Prepare a list of questions to ask your prospective customer. Make a commitment to yourself that you will uncover the answer to each question during your meeting.

2. Think. Before you speak in a sales meeting ask yourself if what you are going to say will add value to the conversation. If the only thing you are going to talk about is your product or service, resist the temptation to speak.

3. Limit distractions. It is very easy to be distracted by noise, people walking by, telephones, etc. Focus your full attention on the person you are talking to.

Action step: During the coming week, concentrate on speaking less than you listen, particularly when meeting with clients, customers or new prospects.

If you are interested in improving your selling skills, Kelley Robertson can help. I think his material is really useful to anyone wanting to become a better salesperson. If you would like to subscribe to his free e-zine “The 59 Second Tip”, here is the link.