How to be a good business listener


She’ll require a phone conversation with a good amount of listening on your
end before making a decision.

OK, I am a very good listener. Actually, I just pacified a potentially aggressive situation between an elected official and one of his party members…really amazing little blip in my life…I was at the right (or wrong) place at the right (or wrong) time, and I know this politician pretty well. Anyway, someone from his party came round and started calling him names…but he’d just been shorted in pretty much a very aggressive and uncomfortable “coup” within his party (the green party) a few days ago. It’s some story.

Anyway. Lo and behold, the guy is sick and tired of being bossed around and demeaned by tyrannical women. What a surprise. And then this lady comes round and totally demeans him…and he almost lost it.

I did what I do when my wife gets out of control, I “led” him to the side, actually helped him breathe, told him what an awesome quality of life people have in Austria (it’s beyond anything people in the States can understand…), and that his work contributed to that … whether his political career has an impasse right now or not is not relevant. Breathe, and honestly, it’s irritating when you get called names and don’t feel heard or you can’t really speak your mind…but that’s also OK…you’re a politician and even in the green party, where for many years things have been settled and friendly, well…you’re seeing the nasty beast right now…

Basically, the guy settled, I mean, it looked like he was going to burst his gizzard and attack this lady…and well…he settled, said “you’ve really helped me,” handed me his card and said “give me a call” with a big politician’s smile. So: he came back into himself.

So, I am a very good listener. I help. However, I may not yet be a very effective or “good” BUSINESS LISTENER. The more I listen, the more people tell me about their girlfriends, their frustrations, sometimes their whole “life’s story.” Before I got married, it happened to me a lot more. During marriage, I’ve basically been dealing with my wife’s trauma and shielding our daughter from abuse.

So, anyway, please teach me to be a good business listener. What questions do I ask or what types of questions do I ask that allow them to feel good about doing business with me? How can I be a good business listener? Where the business issues come up (less the personal), and well…where the logical next step is to do business together.

Are there principles you can describe or define?
Keywords to keep in mind?
Methods…but that almost feels manipulative…I really need to be a “cool” business person…not a pushy or unpleasant hard close fella.

Can you help?


One Responseto “How to be a good business listener”

  1. admin says:

    Yeah right: “Brian told me to close you.” You may be pimpin’ Brian, but you ain’t the Godfather! Har har. That might have been a “note to self” or something like that. It was probably preceded by DWM-Note: or something like that…

    I have an appointment Wednesday with the bar owners. We’ll know for our next session what they said.

    There’s that “other” bar and disco owner, who has not gotten back to me, and I can follow up with him via telephone b4 our session as well.

    We also have my daughter’s school, and they really need this package, however, the school has the potential to become a 10hr per week (or more) part time job. I need to build in moderators and authority structures and make it clear that for anything from 300-600 Euro per month, we’re talking about a gift to the school from my business.

    I won’t pitch to the school until next week, and will only do feeler emails like “from the organizational meeting the other day, I feel strongly that I can help the school reduce its communication burdens online, lighten its administrative load, ease invitations to specific groups, and facilitate preparatory discussions for meetings, allow people to share photos of events and comment on them, etc.

    I am going to look up that “Brian told me” part…

    Ahhh, here it is:
    Brian actually told me to do my best to guide you to a decision, he told me you have a trip coming up to go to China, and that you may want to wait…but I actually have quite a bit of work to do that can be done even if she isn’t overseeing the daily changes during the setup and Brian feels that you shouldn’t wait

    OK, please go into closing theory for me here. Why is the above wrong? How do you steer people to make the decision to work with you, because you want them to work with you, but you actually don’t steer them to work with you, because you are creating an environment in which they make decisions for themselves?

    This is a very important point for me. I have always required high standards of communication ethics, so “manipulative strategies” always feel like shit to me. I don’t do them. However, I also leave a WHOLE LOT of room for people to say no if they want to. I don’t want to force anyone to do anything. Period.

    So, with that in mind: How do I sell anything? and then when I do sell something, how do I feel good about it? Because if I actually “manipulated” someone into buying, then the whole relationship is tainted.

    So, we are talking about being the next logical step, about them paying me money, but about creating an emotional and decision-making space where the prospect not only does not feel forced, but is actually not at all being forced to do anything. Does that make sense?

    That, to me, is “clear,” it’s kind, and it’s appropriate…and well…we did it with the “what I am going to do for you is completely eliminate the website construction fee of 2.500 Euro, I will create an online environment that leads people from finding you in search engines to social media sites to your website…then (what word do we use here?) gathers/captures the lead through an appropriate and effective lead-magnet, and then converts those prospects and leads into profits for you. I will do all of that, without a website construction fee, and I will only charge you 300 Euro per month with a 6 month commitment.”

    We did it there…it works. It’s very good, and I can’t wait to say it on Wednesday at 2PM CET to the bar owners. I literally want to have their 300 Euro in cash in my pocket when we talk on Wed. That is my desire, let’s see…

    So…we can look at the specifics of my sentence about “Brian told me,” and use that as an example to clear this sales-closing issue for me.


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