Do you see yourself as talk-show host? Are you the next Oprah or Dr. Phil? You’re probably a little confused, so let me explain. I recently attended a conference of other professional speakers, and one individual asked us “Are you hosting a talk show or a listening show?” His point was that the best talk-show hosts are very good at listening to their guests and engaging them in a way that’s meaningful.
I thought that was a thought-provoking way to ask ourselves a very important question: What kind of show are we hosting? For example, are you talking more or listening more to your clients and customers? Regardless of what you do, you are connecting with people every day who seek you out because you need what they have to offer. When you do connect, what does that interaction look like? What kind of show are you hosting? If you want it to be a great one, consider my seven rules:
- Listen more and talk less. No new ground here. We all should know this, but it’s always worth reminding ourselves to listen more.
- Take your time. A common mistake in sales is that there is often a rush to answer a question or concern that has not been voiced yet! So unless you have developed ESP, listen more and talk less.
- Be humble. You don’t have all the answers – and you don’t need to. Listen more and your clients will often solve their own issues or objections by simply allowing themselves to process their issue as they talk through it with you playing the tour guide.
- Remember that eye contact wins. Maintain a steady and unwavering gaze. This says that you’re interested and that you care. It’s also the utmost sign of respect, so don’t look around and get distracted.
- Acknowledge what you are hearing. Great sales professionals always acknowledge without judgment.
- Never forget: You are the host. It’s your show, and the customers are your guests. Treat them accordingly!
- Don’t text. Okay, I’m slipping in some of own bias toward the lost art of conversation, but texting while you’re talking with a client just doesn’t fly. Thinking that you can justify it by saying “I’m listening, keep talking” is the best way I know to lose a customer, a sale, or a colleague intending to work with you.
The best part of “hosting a great show” is that we all are capable and do this every day. It’s being conscious of what kind of show you’re hosting. Why do people want to be on the most successful talk shows out there? I would suggest that it’s because the hosts are actually hosting a listening show. And that’s true power.
See you at the Emmys!