This skill is best summed up in the saying, "To sell John Brown what John Brown buys, you've got to see things through John Brown's eyes." The best way to tap into John Brown's thinking process is to listen to what John Brown has to say. The following three steps will help you develop your listening skills in such a way that your business cannot help but be a success!
Encourage conversation. Engaging others to communicate offers tangible benefits. When you ask others open-ended questions and urge people to give their opinions on a wide variety of subjects, you are able to soak up new thoughts and ideas to bolster your own creative thinking skills. Encouraging others to talk about themselves also makes you more likable.
Ask questions. Continue to draw others out through targeted questions without expectations or judgement. Presenting your ideas and then asking for the opinions of others will help you polish the rough edges off your plans. This informal market research is little more than being open to listening to the thoughts of others.
Concentrate on what the other person is saying. Train yourself to focus on what is being said. Do not just wait for an opportunity to insert your own thoughts, but truly listen. Evaluate the words and ideas. Make it your goal to collect as many interesting tidbits and stories as you can whenever you are out. This simple skill gives you valuable insight into your fellow man, and will be a great bank to draw from when outlining your next project, hiring new employees, or determining your target market.
Stop wondering how to be successful in business and start listening to others to improve your likability and your bottom line!