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Listening is the number one skill of Top 20% producers. Their listening goes far beyond just listening though, because top producers actually hear what is behind what their prospects are saying, and they know how to ask clarifying questions to get them to reveal even more.


Have you ever needed to ask directions? You know, you’re traveling and trying to get to your hotel, or you’re in a different part of the city looking for a restaurant and when you don’t know the way, you stop and ask somebody, don’t you? 

When you do and they start telling you, what do you do? You listen, don’t you? The person who is speaking has the information you need to get where you need to go, and I’ll bet you even listen actively. You may even make mental notes and you probably also ask clarifying questions when do don’t fully understand something, right? 

Compare this type of attentive listening with the listening that most sales reps do when they try to sell their products or service. About 80% of the reps I listen to are pitching more than listening, and they’re jumping in as soon as their prospect takes a breath. Most of the time, they aren’t really hearing what their prospect is saying, rather, they are just waiting for their turn to start closing. 

Given this lack of listening and questioning, it’s not hard to understand why most sales reps struggle to make sales… 

Listening is the number one skill of Top 20% producers. Their listening goes far beyond just listening though, because top producers actually hear what is behind what their prospects are saying, and they know how to ask clarifying questions to get them to reveal even more. 

So, how can you get better at listening? Simple: Use the most important button on your phone – the MUTE button! Here’s how: 

Whenever you ask your prospect a question, hit your mute button. While this may be uncomfortable at first, you will get many benefits from it, starting with: 

1) First, it’ll force you to remain quiet. You’ll even be able to blurt stuff out and all the while your prospect won’t even hear it!

2) The silence on your end will also encourage your prospect to keep talking and as they do, they’ll reveal crucial information you can use to close them – if you just let them.

3) By remaining silent, your prospect will literally “feel heard,” and this will help you build a stronger feeling of rapport – which will get them talking even more!

4) By learning to really listen, you will finally get comfortable with the sales process and begin to tell who’s likely to be a real deal and who’s not. Listening for and hearing this difference is the true mark of a top closer. 

There are many more benefits of using your mute button, and I’ll let you discover them on your own. Ultimately, when you listen as if you’re lost, you will find that your prospects will give you the exact directions to what you need to do and say to sell them. 

But you’ll only hear these if you’re actively listening. And the most important button on your phone – your mute button – will help you do that.

Start using it today!

About the author

Mike Brooks

Mike Brooks

Mike Brooks is the founder of Mr. Inside Sales, a North Carolina based inside…

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