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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Improving the MLS 'away game'

Dale S. Laszig

News

Industry Update

News Briefs

Features

Strong showing for payments on 2017 Inc. 5000

Gamification packs a punch

Views

Legal pot sales: a cardless boom

Patti Murphy, ProScribes Inc.

New CFPB anti-arbitration ruling will hurt consumers

Heather Petersen
National Merchants Association

Education

Street SmartsSM:
Why not talk to Steve?

Steven Feldshuh
Merchants' Choice Payment Solutions East

The race from zero to hero

Stu Rosenbaum
Prodigio LLC

Learning from loss leads to future wins

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

Helping merchants with PCI compliance

Rafael Lourenco
ClearSale

Company Profile

DCS Holdings Group LLC

Rocketpay Group

New Products

Data-driven intelligence for ecommerce protection

ThreatMetrix Dynamic Decision Platform
ThreatMetrix Inc.

Inspiration

The beauty of long pauses

Departments

Letter from the editors

Readers Speaks

Resource Guide

Datebook

Skyscraper Ad

The Green Sheet Online Edition

September 11, 2017  •  Issue 17:09:01

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Inspiration

The beauty of long pauses

When it comes to success in sales and in life, superior listening skills are paramount. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president of the United States, once observed, "It takes a great man to be a good listener," which was a testament to how uncommon people who listen effectively really are. Part of the problem may be found in the hectic lives we now live. In The Road Less Traveled, author M. Scott Peck wrote, "You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time." This is difficult to do in today's multitasking world.

Over the years, we have published articles in which payments industry veterans emphasize the need for merchant level salespeople (MLSs) to cultivate superior listening capabilities. For example, in "Say less, sign more," The Green Sheet, April 12, 2010, issue 10:04:01, Jeff Fortney wrote, "Listening is becoming a lost art. In conversations it has become all too common for people to be focused on what to say next, not on what the other person is saying. Listening effectively requires sellers to know when to stop talking."

"Listening well goes hand in hand with relationship building," Paul H. Green reminded readers in "Become a master communicator," The Green Sheet, May 26, 2014, issue 14:05:01. "Outstanding communicators are always adept at comprehending what others have to say."

Wait and enjoy the benefits

Knowing the critical importance of listening skillfully, however, does not necessarily make it easy to do. So, what should conscientious MLSs do to sharpen up their listening abilities? One tactic Green set forth in Good Selling!TM: The Basics is to cultivate the pause, and not just a brief pause, "but a two to three second pause." The two points where Green recommends using this pause are after you ask a question and after a merchant answers.

The benefits of using these long pauses are fivefold, according to Green:

  1. You won't feel compelled to continue talking after asking the question if you force yourself to pause. People don't always immediately answer, and pausing gives them the opportunity to think a bit before responding.
  2. The number and length of responses will increase. People feel more comfortable when you give them time to frame their answers, which will likely be more comprehensive.
  3. The amount of unsolicited information will increase. If you don't jump in immediately after they've answered, prospects have more time to contemplate what they've just said. This may prompt additional comments and objections. Having the objections voiced may permit you to address them early in the presentation.
  4. You'll have more time to understand what they've said. Since you know you're going to pause, you can spend all of your listening time focused on the message, not on what you will say next.
  5. You will have more time to formulate your next comment. When you pause again after prospects or customers have finished answering, you can use the time to develop your next question or statement.

So go forth and pause; then see how much more you learn about your customers and prospects.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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