4 Techniques of Active Listening
1. Finding out
... the seller focuses on the words of the buyer that he hears and tries to clarify details or concepts that are not clear to him.
2. Literal repetition
It is sometimes useful to repeat what the client said. Repeat literally, word by word. What for? In order to:
competently fill the pause... while repeating, you have a few seconds to focus on the words of the buyer and decide which answer will be optimal;
get used to the image of the buyer’s world... you can better understand the need of the interlocutor and gain his trust;
check whether you hear the buyer correctly. If you hear incorrectly, you can answer incorrectly;
show that you are very careful...
provide the opportunity for the buyer to hear himself from the outside.
3. Retell the buyer’s words in your own words, paraphrase
In certain cases, it makes sense to summarize some intermediate result of the buyer’s statement, to generalize his own thought. This is necessary in order to more clearly understand it, to make sure that you understand exactly what the client said; to show the interlocutor your close attention or take a short pause to decide what to say to the buyer and engage the buyer in the conversation even more.
4. Interpret the buyer’s words
...interpretation is when you draw some conclusions of non-mathematical accuracy.
The interpretation that is beneficial to you is an interpretation in a positive sense of yourself, that is, with a positive conclusion for the seller, to the point of your strength.
In addition, we should separately focus on the question, “Do I understand you correctly?”
It is a miracle how good this phrase is! It allows you to literally promote any, absolutely any thought with maximum psychological comfort, both for you and for your customer.
The phrase, “Do I understand you correctly?” unfolds the conversation from the buyer to the seller. The general formula of this turnover, perhaps, can be expressed in this way, “Not you, but me,” “Not you said something wrong, but I misunderstood you.” Well, if you really understood correctly, then be calm, in this case the buyer would ascribe everything to himself, he would be pleased to realize that he says so that the others understand him.
What are the analogues of the expression, “Do I understand you correctly?”
“If I understood correctly... then...” In this case, the sentence from interrogative becomes affirmative. Applying a statement or question is up to you. If you want to aggravate the conversation, it’s better to ask a question. If you want your assumption to organically fit into the conversation, it’s better to make a statement. On the other hand, if the buyer feels manipulation, then he will react less aggressively to the question than to the statement. So, decide for yourself.
There are good synonyms for the words “I understood”: “I’ve got it,” “I’ve got the idea,” the list remains open...
There is a good colloquial form, “As I understand it, you find the point in reading this book.” The form is “As I understand it.”
Sometimes you can let go of the eloquent phrase, “Please, correct me if I’m wrong...” Such a phrase must be pronounced with special intonation, friendly, businesslike, and certainly not mocking, otherwise you will be corrected and corrected again.