listeningI’m a constant observer.

I like to think I’m present in most moments, but it’s probably not true.  Instead,  I often observe what’s happening—I love watching how things work.

I’m fascinated by language and tone of voice and people’s eye contact and body language.

I love watching what’s effective, what isn’t, how the same thing can be said by two different people and create radically different outcomes.

Because at the most basic level I think we’re all in sales, in the business of persuasion (( i.e.: a mom persuading the kids to take out the garbage, thru fear or reward or guilt or….  )) this should be of interest to everyone since we all need to be good at getting people from here to there.

I was recently with someone who “sold” me completely–  we sat together for an hour and at the beginning he asked me my kids name,  at the end he recapped our discussion and remembered her name effortlessly.

This was a flawless “closing”, having me at the decision point of the “sale” feeling totally heard and that I mattered, that he was deeply listening to me.

Isn’t that what most of us want, really?

In fact, I was so moved by him remembering her name,  I can’t really say any other reason why I bought what he’s selling… that stood alone for me and nothing else mattered all that much.

I’ve discovered this is almost always the case.

Sales people strive so hard to figure out “the close”.

We learn scripts and dialogues, we sign up for coaching classes and practice roll playing.

We’ve all been subject to a sales pitch that sounds like someone reciting the phone book.

I continue to find that sales, persuasion, gaining support and inspiring others to do something is drastically easier than people realize if they focused on what really matters…

All my observing has led me to notice:

1)   the quietest person in the room often has the most power.

2)   Those who speak first almost always lose.

3)   Tone of voice, how you say something is twice as important as what you say.

4)   Authentic happiness is so sexy, it’s almost irresistible.

5)   People want to do business with people they like, and people mostly like people who pay attention and listen to them.

6)   We are wildly self-centered, so making “it” about them is a sure winner.

7)   Stop learning scripts, start learning how to listen.  Practice it constantly.   If you can listen, you’ve already won.

8)   Being real is mission critical.  The odor of fake is so repulsive you have no shot at getting close to anything.

9)   Eye contact is crucial.  I think eye’s are the window to your soul.   I’ve watched events completely unfold, both positively and negatively, as a result of eye contact.

10) You never, ever, know what’s really going on with people.  NEVER forget this.  Those who don’t run story lines and don’t judge where people are coming from ALWAYS do better.

Last, I’ve discovered, you never know what’s going to win someone over.

So, do it all.