14 questions to ask yourself when you are truly listening:
When people ask themselves questions, they become more involved and focus on the conversation. Part I covered the first seven questions to ask yourself.
8. How did this person contact me?
Was this by way of an email, a fax, a blog comment or phone call? Understanding how a person is contacting you can help determine their preferred method of communication.
9. What am I NOT hearing? Why?
Are you not hearing a tone of voice or an attitude coming through? What may be some causes of you not hearing what is being said? Make sure you are not drifting away or thinking about what to say instead of truly listening.
10. What level of directness are you hearing?
Is the person "directing" you with their personality style? Do they seem to dance around a subject and maybe need some help to clarify what is on their mind?
11. What breakthrough solutions do they need rather than tiny improvements?
Because of your past experience and knowledge about their business you may know some really valuable solutions that will help them move up to a whole new level of productivity. Maybe it's the elimination of several recurring steps in a process. Look at your CRM system's notes and history to discover patterns and additional benefits that matter.
12. How can I fix it? How can I solve it?
Better yet, how can I improve an already great situation so they'll rave about it? The last moments of your conversation will be the most powerful and remembered. Fire up your CRM system and search your knowledge database for how an issue was solved for others.
13. Since emotions are the signals of values (what's important), what are the emotions signaling us, particularly anything with emotional heat around it - anger, resentment, fear, passion, awe. etc.
The adage says people buy with emotion and justify with logic.
14. What are the word-of-mouth implications for what I'm hearing?
This is where social media becomes valuable and word of mouth referrals can really bloom. Is what you are hearing useful to post in a blog article, to tweet about and have added to your Facebook Fan page? Maybe this information should be used in customer surveys.
Are you hearing 'Reasons to believe' phrases, testimonial types of comments?
So you have now covered Part I and these 7 additional questions to ask yourself when truly listening.
What are questions I have missed that you use? Let our readers know what works for you.