Ever watch the game show Let’s Make A Deal? A costume clad audience member is faced with several prize options and must make an instant decision as to which to choose. Curtain #1? Maybe curtain #3? The prize choice must be made quickly; after all, it’s only a 60 minute show!
Customers may sprint away like a Road Runner
Some salespeople ask for an instant decision from their customers. With a one-time customer, as with a retail sale, asking for a quick decision is expected. After all, in retail, the mall closes at 9, and customers must vacate the premises. But when building a long-term relationship with a customer, salespeople might want to rethink the quick sale approach.
“Take it or leave it…right now” might make a potential long-term customer sprint away faster than the Road Runner. Build a long-term customer by avoiding hard-sell, I-need-a-decision-right-now-or-nothing pressure. Instead of demanding an instant decision, ask your customer for a time you can visit or call to get a decision. With a returning customer, take the time to build the relationship. The return on your patience might just be a life-long client.
As a Toastmaster and teacher, I often attend forums and seminars with knowledgeable, interesting presenters. As I look around the room at the other attendees, I notice that most are taking copious notes, typing or writing down each and every point and idea the presenter makes.
Use your listening skills instead of your note taking skills
Have you ever wondered what happens to these seminar notes? Some note takers organize their writings in memo pads or in folders on their laptops. Still other not so organized scribes ball up their scratchings, tossing them into corners of home offices.
Often, in our zeal to record every word, most of us miss the most important presentation points. What if the next time you attend a non-work related forum or meeting, before taking notes, put your pen down. Let’s use the listening skills developed and practiced in Toastmasters, and open our ears and hearts to the message. Instead of becoming bored trying to keep up with the notes, absorb the message by listening. Watch the speaker’s body language for non-verbal cues; enjoy the nuances of the speaker’s vocal variety. Immerse yourself in the entire message by listening.
Put your pen down. You’ll save trees, and you just might open your ears and life to new ideas.