Don’t forget to listen

Perhaps the two most important things salespeople can understand is:

1. The information in their own head is not as important as the yet-to-be-mined information in their prospect’s head; and

2. Knowing how to talk little enough and listen long enough, to be able to mine that gold.

The lesson is similar for small business owners who’ve gone to a lot of trouble and expense to hiresmart employees. We already know what we know; we need to know what’s in the heads of the members of our brain trust. We need our folks to be open and productive with their ideas about problem-solving and business strategy.

How do we do that? Not by behaving like we’re sitting on our throne with all the answers, that’s for sure. Instead, let’s consider the thinking of author and management guru, Peter Drucker, who said, “My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant, and ask a few questions.”

I know you’re very proud of what you’ve learned and how much you’ve accomplished; and you should be. But if your business isn’t hitting on all cylinders; if your plans just aren’t coming to fruition like you intended; if you don’t seem to be getting the most out of your investment in the other humans in your business; perhaps you should try acting ignorant and ask a few more questions.

And don’t forget to listen.

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