In the home based business there are many different ways to implement effective listening skills successfully. Everyday you are using your business communication skills with fellow workers, employees, clients, customers, vendors, accountants, advertisers and attorneys to name just a few.
Effective listening skills are on the top of the list of business communication skills. In my article; Business Communications and Your Success, I discuss the many various forms of communication used in the business world.
With all the distractions in the business world today I am amazed that we communicate as well as we do with our business contacts. There are many times in the course of our busy days that someone talks to us and we just barely listen to what they are saying. Our minds are preoccupied with the next comment, thought, or task.
Have you ever caught yourself finishing another person’s sentence? Or have you interrupted a business contact to add your own comments before you even heard the other person out? What about interpreting what someone else said completely wrong because we did not let them finish their sentences or explain their point more clearly?
Here are some ways to create better and more productive conversations, stronger relationships and increase your bottom line.
Ways to Create Effective Listening Skills
*Use Direct Eye Contact
*On the Phone Visualize the Person
*Concentrate and Stay Focused
*Do not Interrupt your Business Contact
*Leave a brief pause after the other Person Speaks
Use Direct Eye Contact
When you are talking to a business contact look directly at them and concentrate on what they are saying. Too many times we are thinking of what we want to say next and assume we already know what they are going to say. Not only is that very belittling to the person but it also can be the cause for many misunderstandings because we jump to a conclusion that may be incorrect.
On the Phone Visualize the Person
If you are on the phone visualize your business contacts in your mind even if you have never seen them. Create an image in your mind of what they may look like and treat them as if they were in the room with you. Do not do any tasks that are not related to the conversation at hand. It is way too easy to get distracted and miss the point being made.
Concentrate and Stay Focused
What is the message your customer or business contact is really trying to convey? Ask questions to be sure you understood what is being stated. The worst thing to do is to assume you know what your business contact is saying.
Get all the facts, clarify what you think they said and be sure to verify the key points of the conversation. If there is a follow up action needed, make sure that you both are clear on the matter.
Do not Interrupt Your Business Contact
Interrupting a business contact when they are talking is not only rude but you may totally miss the most important point the speaker is saying. Let them finish their sentence or sentences. The point that you may think you want to say might not really be relevant once you hear them out.
Leave a Brief Pause after the Other Person Speaks
Once your business contact has completed their sentences, leave a brief pause. It will give you three important results. First the listener will know that you are taking in what they said and are really listening. Second it will give you time to think of questions that may need to be asked to clarify what they said. Lastly it will give you time to address their questions or comments.
Creating excellent business communication skills will help you and your business profit in many very important ways. When we are all on the same page we can become unified in our efforts and become much more productive.
Benefits of Creating Effective Listening Skills
*Facilitates Better Decision Making
*Increases Rapport with all Business Contacts
*Creates a Friendlier Environment
*Fosters More Cooperation
*Opens doors for Increased Knowledge
*Will Create Increased Profits
Facilitates Better Decision Making
When your listening skills increase you will be more apt to ask the right questions, match the information and solutions that you received from other conversations and be able to discern the best information available from all the sources you talked to.
There are many times that we pay for advice and consulting. It could be an accountant, attorney or business consultant. Listening and learning from them will increase your specific knowledge of these subjects which you will be able to implement in your home based business.
Business contacts appreciate the respect that you give them while using effective listening skills. When they know that you are really listening to them and giving them your full attention it is amazing how much more can be accomplished.
In my article; Offer Excellent Customer Service I give numerous examples of ways in which to offer excellent customer service and most of them depend on effective listening skills. Customer service and business communications skills go hand in hand.
Creates a Friendlier Environment
Listening to your employees, business associates or other business contacts gives you the ability to understand what they need in order to get the job done correctly and with fewer misunderstandings. When everyone is on the same page productivity soars.
Fosters More Cooperation
When using effective listening skills, business contacts usually will be willing to share more time with you. As a general rule when people feel that you are being attentive they will offer more ideas to help you and your home based business succeed.
Opens doors for Increased Knowledge
With more effective listening skills you will find that you will remember more of the conversations, take the time to dig deeper and ask more thorough questions. The more time you spend with your business contact the more knowledge you will gain.
I find that people are very willing to share their wealth of information if you just take the time to listen and ask questions. This knowledge will help to propel your home based business forward.
Will Create Increased Profits
With all the great benefits we have listed you should be able to see how effective listening skills will increase your profits. You will be able to offer excellent customer service, glean valuable information from business contacts in regards to marketing, accounting, legal matters and so many other aspects of your home based business.
Effective listening skills are a necessary part of business. The home based business owner who takes the time to listen to what their business contacts are saying can and will be many more steps ahead of their competition.
Paul Kopp is the Founder and CEO of Kopp Enterprises, Inc. Paul has been a Home Based Business owner for over 7 years. Currently he operates 2 online businesses and also is involved in numerous non internet related businesses. Paul created Home-Based-Business-Solutions.com to give quality information and resources to start and run a home based business smoothly and profitably. He covers all the topics from A-Z for home based businesses. This article and others can be found at his Business Resource Center.