While “hearing” and “listening” are two words that are often used interchangeably, they have completely different meanings. Hearing; is simply the act of tuning into sound, while listening on the other hand, actually requires some effort. In order to effectively listen, you must first choose to concentrate and then allow the brain to process the information you’re hearing and add meaning to it. During active listening, our minds focus on the information as it is being received.
You will know you are actively listening if you feel as though you just had a mini-meditation while talking to someone. Your mind is clear and mostly free of your own thoughts as you listen actively.
When communicating, active listening helps build rapport and trust between a speaker and a listener. Building strong rapport and trust is important in real estate in order to increase the likelihood of making a sale.
Here are three tips to enhance your listening skills and increase sales:
1. Listen as if you had to summarize what the other person just told you. Summarization is one of the most effective ways to encourage active listening. This does not mean you should repeat everything they just said back to them like a robot, but the purpose of the exercise is to force you to listen actively. Try to remember and recall some of the key points about whatever it is they’re talking about.
2. Link your portion of the conversation to the other person’s key points. When you are listening attentively, you remember what the person said and how they said it. You might even notice their body language or hand gestures in order to get a better idea of how they feel towards the topic of the conversation. As you speak or make an offer, keep their key points, body language, and tone of voice in mind when contributing to the conversation. As mentioned above, this will increase rapport and make the listener feel understood. When the listener feels “heard” and understood, the likelihood of them being receptive to your offer increases. This also forces you to gather information that can be used later to provide feedback and enhance the conversation.
3. Provide feedback. Actively listening and making an effort to reflect on what is being said will help you learn about and understand the person you are speaking with. Providing feedback encourages further conversation, makes the other individual feel important, and forces you to gain a better understanding of the individual, their needs, and their objections. Through actively listening, you will obtain all of the information you need in order to confidently close a sale. Here’s an example of how active listening and providing feedback during a conversation can aid in discovering your clients’ needs, “John, correct me if I’m wrong, but what I heard you say is that you will only look at a property if it is within 3 km of an elementary school?”
In this case, John will either confirm or contradict what you said and as a result, you will be certain of his needs. You can then use this information to give him the confidence that his needs will be met by working with you.