Posted by: Jim McLellan | May 15, 2012

Non-Verbal Listening = 80% of communication ? Poppy- Cock

Non-Verbal Communication

How many of you have heard that 80% of listening skills are non-verbal?   

Poppy- Cock!

Why don’t you turn on your TV without the sound to a typical sit-com and test this? 

Clearly you can’t follow very well so I say this is simply not true.

However we do communicate non-verbally, for example if someone tasted a meal you prepared and had a grimace while saying that is was very good.  This will confuse our brain and naturally we believe the grimace rather that the word.  This is because our brain believes it is easier to lie with words, as opposed to our facial expressions. 

So as sales people or even just good listening partners, we should be aware of what the other party is doing as well as what your body language says. 

Do you lean back in your chair while talking?  When the client is speaking do you lean forward to listen harder?  What are your hands doing, what are his eyes doing. 

These are clues and “tells” as to where you are in your presentation and where the client is as well.  If you’re using a power point or pamphlet don’t speak ahead of the slides!  Keep on topic and on each page.   And for goodness sakes don’t look out the window or desk but you also need to look at the presentation.  The client will, and if he notices you’re not then he will not think it’s important and they will loose focus.

Use good listening skills.

  • Nod, agree, or clarify when the client makes a statement
  • Paraphrase what you think you heard!
  • Ask questions AFTER and don’t interrupt
  • Make eye contact
  • Try to mirror and match voice patterns, ie don’t be loud if they speak quietly
  • Listen, and don’t think, you need to really listen and not start forming replies while listening.  You think about 4 times faster than you speak, so you will have plenty of time to respond.
  • Keep focused on listening, you will get your chance to talk soon enough
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