Philosophy #6 – Deep Down Inside of All of us Is the Power to Accomplish What we Want…if We’ll Just Stop Looking Elsewhere

Philosophy #6 – Deep down inside of all of us is the power to accomplish what we want…if we’ll just stop looking elsewhere.

You have the power right now to be happier, to be more successful, to generate higher sales and higher commissions.  Attitude is the key.

Have a great attitude.  And try to always be positive

A glass of water sits on a table with water filled to the halfway point.  Some see that as “half empty.”  The creative person sees a glass twice as big as it needs to be.  The positive person sees it as “half full.” 

Questions create a vacuum that the mind must fill with an answer.  Try this.  Try not to think of this article.  (You can’t.  Your mind automatically has to focus.)  When the mind focuses on a thought, realize that it happens very quickly, and it is the main message that gets through.

The mind remembers a fraction of what it receives.  It has been proven that the unconscious mind often deletes negatives.  Our words are very powerful, and we get what we ask for, and when we use negative language, we get what we don’t want.  So, be positive, and remember to ask for what you want. 

When you speak to others, whatever words you utter must be mentally processed by the other person.  By speaking in positive terms, you are constantly moving toward what you want as opposed to what you don’t want.

A study was done with disbelievers in the power of the positive.  The disbelievers were told up front that the purpose of the study was to prove that positive messages work.  Various messages were conveyed to these people – both positive (remember something) and negative (don’t forget to do something).

The result: the forewarned disbelievers remembered that which they were told positively and failed to do what they were asked to do in a negative manner.  (They remembered to do what they were told to remember, and they forgot what they were told “Don’t forget.”)

This isn’t hocus pocus mumbo jumbo.  It’s real.  Your mind can hold only one thought at a time; make it a positive and constructive one.

Positive thinking won’t let you do “anything.”  But positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.  Positive thinking will let you use the ability you have while negative thinking prevents you from fully using your ability.

And when you are positive, you will find that it rubs off on other people, and you will be happier and more enthusiastic.

Personality, enthusiasm.  Show your personality!  People remember positive, friendly people.  People like to buy from people they like, so be likable.  Talk to people; strike up conversations; get to know people; care about people.  Build friendships; it will sell more than all of the sales techniques in the world.

Be as friendly to the janitor as you are to the CEO.  Don’t limit your personality to a select few.  Be nice to everyone. 

Treat your fellow workers with the same respect you show your clients.

Act with courtesy and fairness regardless of how others treat you.

Take charge of your attitude; don’t let someone else choose it for you.

Avoid negative people.  Don’t be a SNIOP. (Don’t be Susceptible to the Negative Influence of Other People.)

Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.

Learn to show enthusiasm, even when you don’t feel like it.

To be a successful magazine advertising salesperson, you must have the right attitude.  You must believe that you are doing your prospects a real favor by helping them purchase advertising.  You must believe that the value a prospect gets from buying advertising is vastly greater than the money he invests.  If you do your best to get a prospect to purchase advertising and you just cannot sell him, you should feel genuinely sorry for the prospect.

The right attitude will increase your sales today.

Sales Philosophy #5 – Information is Power.

Sales Philosophy #5 – Information is power.

Knowing something about your customer is just as important as knowing everything about your product.

The greatest weapon you can have is superior information.

On our holiday in Italy, I wanted to buy a leather briefcase.  I had heard you could bargain at the markets.  So, I used my son to do a little reconnaissance; he determined that the asking price was 300,000 lire (about 135 pounds – $200).  I divided 200,000 lire (90 pounds) into four different pockets.  I started negotiating pocket by pocket.

He shook his head back and forth each time.  Three no’s.

I emptied my fourth and final pocket.  As I stood there with empty pockets waving the lire, I told the seller it was all I had left.  If I didn’t catch the taxi that was waiting and get back to the pier, my ship would sail without me.

“We’re just here for two hours.  Just long enough to do a little shopping and get back to the boat.  You’ll never see me again.  I’ll get in the taxi and be gone.  And you won’t have the sale.  There may not be another buyer for ages.”

A fourth shake of his head, “No.”

I started walking toward the taxi.

If he lets me get into the taxi, then I know absolutely for sure he will not change his price to 90 pounds, but with each step toward the taxi I have a chance that he will holler and say, “Mister, I will give take your offer.”

I go to the taxi.  I open the door.  He never called me back.

I had the taxi drive around the block and then walked back to his stand and said, “Okay, you win.  I want the briefcase; here’s the 300,000 lire.”

He nodded solemnly, took the money, and counted it very slowly.  The he said, “Maybe you want me to deliver it to your hotel?”

“Hotel?  But I’m on the ship….”

He held up his hand to stop me and shook his head no for the last time.  “I waited on the table next to you at the hotel last night.  My brother, Maurizio, has been your waiter all week.  He says you take real good care of him, signor.  We check out all the tourists.  That’s our business, you know.  Thank you.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy the briefcase.”

Moral to the story: It’s one thing to be a moderately successful amateur bargain hunter, but when your livelihood depends on knowing more than the other guy, then don’t play amateur games.  You make it your business to know.

Mackay 66.  Windsor 44.  Computer 9.

Harvey Mackay is the author of the best-selling book Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive.  One of his major philosophies (and an important factor in the success of his business dealings) is knowing a lot about each person you are selling.  The Mackay 66 is a list of 66 questions/topics that will give you tremendous power as you build and maintain your relationship with your key customers.  Begin to develop this information on your Top 20 accounts.  Then use that information to build your relationship and generate more sales.

I believe strongly in the importance of information about the company you are selling.  I have developed a list of 44 questions that, once answered, will enable you to become a marketing consultant for your clients.

Four of the 44 deserve special attention: 

41.  What do you want from ________?

42.  And what would having ____________ (the answer to question 41) do for you?

The answers to these questions will provide some of the most important information you can gather.  You will learn why what you are selling is important to the company and the specific benefits to the buyer or his/her company.  With this information, you can emphasize the appropriate features while selling these benefits!

43.  What will our company have to do to justify that we can provide an important service to you?

This is the ultimate bottom line question in my mind.  Okay, what do we have to do?  What do we have to prove?  I know if you knew all that I know about my great magazine, you would advertise; what have I failed to make clear; what do you question; what do I have to prove, or what do we have to do?

How often we dance around and make call after call, and never ask such questions

44.  How can we help you?

What a powerful question!  Most buyers have salespeople trying to sell them something.  What a refreshing approach to simply ask, “How can we help you?”  It’s a great opening question with a new prospect, and it’s a question you can and should use with customers you’ve had forever.  It’s a great comeback to “No” or to many objections.  Besides, it’s what we want to be – consultative salespeople who act as marketing consultants to our customers.  When we help our customers, we get what we really want.

Your sales contact management computer system should contain a specific place for the brief answers to 9 questions – data drawn from the “Windsor 44” and your observations.  Get the answers to these questions, and summarize the data in the computer.

Asking the right questions and gathering worthwhile information will enable you to close more and more sales.  It will also establish you as a professional and will set you apart from the average salesperson.  You can have the power, if you focus on what’s important and remain hungry for information.

Sales Philosophy #4 – Success is a Journey…Not a Destination.

Sales Philosophy #4 – Success is a journey…not a destination.

Most people will make careful plans for small trips and none for their longest trip, that is, for their entire life.

If you don’t know where you’re going, how can you expect to get there?

Set goals.  Establish objectives.  Formulate strategies.  Make it happen!

Just out of college, I read a book that had a profound influence on my life.  Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.  My daughter has just finished reading it, and my son will read it.  While the book teaches many valuable lessons, the main message is:

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

Set goals.  Believe you can accomplish those goals.  Work toward your goals.

In 1950, Harvard and the Ivy League colleges began studies of graduating classes.  In answer to the question whether they had established goals for their lives, 87 percent of the graduates said they had not.  Ten percent said they had established mental goals but had not written them down.  Only three percent said they had developed written goals for their lives.

The schools followed the progress of their graduates for 25 years.  In 1975, they found that the 87 percent who had not established goals had performed in an average manner in the intervening years.  The 10 percent with mental goals outperformed the 87 percent  But the three percent who had developed written goals had clearly outperformed the other 97 percent of their classmates.

We all have wants and needs.  As with the prospects we meet, we aren’t always sure exactly what those wants and needs are.   Instead of trying to suppress your wants, put them in writing as goals, and then work toward your goals.  Control your life; don’t let life control you.

Goal setting is a conscious effort of regularly and systematically determining what you want, determining the obstacles that you perceive to be in your way and how they will be overcome.

An effective goal setting program allows you to DEFINE, DESCRIBE and DESIGN the person you would like to become, in all areas of your life; spiritual, family, financial or any other area which you target for personal growth.

A goal is a self-imposed challenge.  It is a benchmark for achievement.  It is a way to give your life meaning and to keep you striving to be the individual you want to be.  Living without purpose and without direction makes the achievement of anything an accident, rather than by design.  When you don’t have goals and don’t know where you want to go or how you want to get there, you’ll end up going nowhere.

It has been proven that goals affect your performance level.  A documented characteristic of high-performance people is not only that they set goals regularly, but they carry their goal sheets with them AT ALL TIMES for constant review.  High achievers do not believe in luck.  They recognize that luck is… that which happens when preparation meets opportunity.  When opportunities are created, high-performance people who goal set always seem to be the first in line.

The ultimate importance of goal setting is that it provides you a BLUEPRINT FOR SUCCESS!  The goals serve as a reminder of where you want to be so you remain more directed.  Remember that SUCCESS IS A JOURNEY, NOT A DESTINATION.  Success is the continuous journey towards the achievement of predetermined, worthwhile goals.  The secret to goal setting is to continuously upgrade your goals and to never become satisfied with the status quo. 

You have the ability to achieve a great deal, if you establish goals and are willing to work hard.  If you really want something badly enough, you will sacrifice for it.  But you won’t sacrifice for mere wishes.  You must reduce your wants and needs to written goals.

It is important to set both long-term and short-term goals.  A major weakness of many people is that they do not concentrate their daily efforts on the most important tasks to be accomplished.  The best way to be sure you accomplish the most important things each day is to spend a few minutes each evening, and write down the six most important things you need to accomplish the next day.  (You should do this for both business and personal things to do.)  Write them down every night, and you will immediately become more productive.

And in terms of your major goals, remember that there is nothing wrong with setting goals too high and coming up a little short; it’s much worse to set goals too low and hit them.  Goals should be something you really have to work to achieve.  That’s why we will have quotas, but we will also have aggressive goals.

Each of you is to set business goals for the next year.  These goals will include the following areas: customer satisfaction, personal earnings, sales, attitude, self-improvement, and sales skills.  

Success is a journey…not a destination, and we must all chart our course so we can enjoy all that success has to offer.

Sales Philosophy #3 – It’s Fine to Play at Ping-Pong, but Be a Professional Salesperson

Sales Philosophy #3 – It’s fine to play at ping-pong, but be a professional salesperson.

Visualize me on a cruise ship as I become involved in a ping-pong tournament.  The score is 20-20, and it is my serve.  If I make the shot, I win fame and glory.  So I toss the ball and hit it with all my might in an attempt to get a grand slam, but the ball flies right into my opponent’s forehead.  Shame,  Embarrassment.  Laughter from the crowd.  I lose.

Later, a ping-pong professional approaches me and comments that at the key shot, my wrist was bent during the serve and this caused the ball to have an upward spin, beaning my opponent right between the eyes.  “Your wrist needs to be straight and the paddle held like this” is the pro’s final comment.

“I’ll never do that again!” I think and go about my business.  Two days later, another game.  The score is 20-20.  My serve.  Toss the ball into the air, hit it with all my might…directly into my opponent.  I lose again.

If I were a professional, I would have been practicing nothing but my grand-slam serves during the interim.  As a professional, I would have made sure my wrist was straight even if I had to tape a board to it.

But as an amateur, I merely thought about it and did not practice.

What do you want to be… an amateur?  Or a professional?  Sales professionals study and practice.

The difference between two professionals or two salespeople can be very small in the level of skill, but very big in the degree of success and reward.  One year on the professional golf circuit, after 30 tournaments, two top golfers averaged 70.94 and 71.34 per round.  After 2,160 holes of golf, the difference between the two was less than half a stroke per 18 holes.  Yet one earned over twice as much money.

In baseball, the difference between a .250 hitter and a .300 hitter is one more hit every 20 times at bat.  (And that probably means the difference between earning many million dollars per year and not making it as a professional.)

In the Olympics, the downhill was won by 27/100 of a second!  So, even a slight professional edge can make a big difference in the success and rewards for an athlete – or for a salesperson.

Just as professional athletes constantly practice and strive to improve their games, professional salespeople must do the same.

Selling is at its highest level when the salesperson takes on the relationship of a consultant and advisor to his client, the prospect.

To be successful in his/her career, the professional salesperson must develop knowledge, skills, and standards.  The purpose of on-going training material provided by your company will be to provide basic information to help salespeople be more competent in these areas, but this is only a starting point.  Development in these areas will come from self-improvement through study and reading, observing other salespeople, studying people, and intelligent analysis.


Product knowledge is vital.  You must know your product.  You must thoroughly understand everything about your products and your company.  And you must know your customers.  Product and customer knowledge is vital, but studies show that selling is only 15% product knowledge and 85% people skills.

So, learning the advantages and benefits for the customer is more important than the actual features of the product.  Customers are more concerned with what products will do for them.  To convey this, the salesperson must be very aware of everything the prospect does and says.  This means the salesperson must know his product backwards and forwards.  The sales presentation must be so well known that the salesperson can concentrate on the feedback he is getting from his prospects.

Studies tell us that our subconscious mind will allow us to do any over-learned skill without even thinking about it.  The professional golfer doesn’t worry about every aspect of his stroke each time he addresses the ball; the professional is thinking about strategy.  The same should be true of a professional salesperson.


85% of selling is skills, especially people skills.  How the knowledge is used by the salesperson when he faces (or talks on the phone with) the prospect is vital. 

Success in selling depends greatly on the skill of the salesperson in establishing trust, understanding what keeps people from buying, understanding what motivates people to buy, identifying the different types of people and how to deal with them, planning the presentation, approaching the prospect, making the presentation, handling objections, gaining commitment, and maintaining trust and building goodwill.


A proper attitude is vital if a salesperson is to do a successful selling job.  This means how a salesperson feels about selling as a career, his current job, his company, his product, his associates, his customers.  Some of these attitudes are affected by outside influences over which the salesperson has little or no control.  But the salesperson must realize that his own mental attitude toward being a successful salesperson is as important as his knowledge and skills, and he must adjust to his environment.

Good training and successful experience can work magic with the attitude of a salesperson.  When comfortable with the product and confident of the skills, the salesperson should be eager and willing to put this competency to work.  Success then becomes more frequent; minor frictions tend to be ignored; and the salesperson’s attitude becomes even better.  Again, it is our hope that our training material will increase your comfort, confidence, and competence, so you may have the best possible attitude about your career as a professional salesperson.

Professionalism.  Quality.

Perform your job better than anyone else can.

Every day, look for some way to improve the way you do your job.

If you will decide that you are going to make a commitment and start this very second to learn how to become the best possible salesperson you can be, and if you commit to studying available information – now and forever, you will become a true professional, and you will earn much more money as a result.

Sales Philosophy #2 – The Shortest Pencil in the World is Better Than the Longest Memory.

Sales Philosophy #2 – The shortest pencil in the world is better than the longest memory. (So, write it down.) 

It’s probably no surprise to you that I like to see things in writing.  Researchers say that people generally fall into one of three categories – they prefer to see things, hear things, or feel things.  I guess that makes me a see-er.

Researchers have also proven that people learn more and retain more when they involve more of the senses.  So, in my case, I sincerely feel that I absorb more when I hear something or see something and also take notes and write something at the same time.  In addition, my notes become powerful information that I retain and use as needed.  People see that I am listening and involved; they also see that I have a record of what takes place.  I often dazzle people with my “memory.”

I’m a list person, so I naturally feel other people should consider becoming list people, too.  I keep ongoing lists of “Things To Do.”  I encourage you to keep a running list!

50/10 Rule:  We hear only 50% and remember only 10% of what we hear; that means we retain only 5% of what is said.  This applies to each of us and to our customers and prospects.  We can beat the 50/10 Rule by taking notes and writing things down.  We can compensate for the 50/10 Rule with our customers and prospects through repetition and by involving more of their senses when we make personal or telephone sales calls.  Using visuals will definitely increase retention of our messages.

Do you know who Herman Ebbinghaus is?  The Ebbinghaus Curve?  Dr. Ebbinghaus is the authority who has documented how quickly the mind forgets new information.  His studies are used to enforce the importance of repetition because repetition is the key to learning and is one of the keys to effective advertising.  When selling, use repetition.

Don’t trust your memory; write it down.  The shortest pencil in the world is better than the longest memory.


Sales Philosophy #1 – The Platinum Rule: Do unto others as they would have done unto themselves.

Sales Philosophy #1 – The Platinum Rule: Do unto others as they would have done unto themselves.

As you conduct your business, remember that most people are primarily interested in THEMSELVES.  Your customers are not particularly interested in you, other salespeople, or your fellow employees.  They are interested in themselves.  Everyone must remember this at all times because making the customer happy is a key to success.

Many people try to live by the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  This certainly is a wonderful sentiment, but I feel there is a rule which is more important as it relates to selling and business.

When I first conceived this overriding philosophy of selling and doing business, it took a long time to explain what I meant.  Over the years, I managed to reduce the text.  I ultimately condensed the philosophy to the simple statement; Do unto others as they would have done unto themselves.  I realized that was similar, yet significantly different from the Golden Rule.  But it got me to thinking about a catchy title for the philosophy.

For some reason, my mind zeroed in on American Express.  As you probably know, there is the green card.  Then there is the gold card.  And now there is the platinum card — a step up from the gold card.  Well, I believe this philosophy is a step up from the Golden Rule, and I began calling it the “Platinum Rule.”  Once again, the Rule is: “Do unto others as they would have done unto themselves.”

The philosophy of the Platinum Rule means that salespeople and other employees should always be most concerned with the customer.  Totally concentrate on the needs and desires of the customer.  This means pulling from the toolbox of your mind the appropriate knowledge and skills necessary to convey that what you are selling will solve the problems and needs of your customer.  Try to treat your customers not as you want to be treated, but the way they want to be treated.  Ask questions to find out the needs of your customers; they will usually tell you how to sell them if you ask good, open-ended questions.

The Platinum Rule: “Do unto others as they would have done unto themselves.”  I wholeheartedly encourage you to adopt this rule.  By simply applying the Rule, your sales will increase.

Approach – Approaching the Prospect

The salesperson only gets one chance to make a first impression. What happens in the first 30 seconds can be more important than anything else you say or do!

Packed into the first few minutes of the “approach” are three important objectives:

1.  To gain the favorable attention of the prospect,

2.  To begin to establish trust, and

3.  To develop the prospect’s attention into positive interest.

These are accomplished through your appearance, your actions, and what you say. All are equally important in these first critical moments.

The prospect’s first impression is a visual one. If he is favorably impressed, he is more likely to want to listen to you. If he is not, everything you say or do must overcome a handicap to succeed.

Appearance is the total of many things. It is taste, cleanliness, attitude, and general self-respect. The salesperson’s attitude should be one of confidence. He must show confidence in his product, his company, and in himself. Any lack of confidence as revealed by his manner, facial expression, or speech may be quickly noticed by the prospect.

Approach – Suggestions for a Favorable First Impression

Here are suggestions for a favorable first impression when making face-to-face sales calls.

Be neat in dress.  Wear clothes on the conservative side.  While your business may lend itself to more casual attire with some clients and prospects, most professional salesmen should wear a tie and professional saleswomen should wear a business-style suit if in doubt as to what will be appropriate.

Be clean in dress and body.  Clothes should always be neatly laundered, never rumpled or soiled.   Shoes must always be shined.  Fingernails must be very clean.  Men must always have a good, close shave.   Hair must always be neatly combed.  Deodorant must be used; perfume and cologne must never be over-used.   Special concern must be given to clean teeth and fresh breath.

Maintain a confident bearing and manner – not superior, nor inferior.

Talk with a smile, with a pleasant tone – never sour.  Smile almost to the point of grinning, because a smile radiates warmth.

Come on softly so you relax the prospects rather than scare them and cause them to become defensive.

Always have the names correct, and pronounce them properly.  Ask your prospects, if necessary.

Don’t carry a coat.  It may detract, and you want your prospect’s attention directed only to you and your presentation.

Have a good handshake.  A good rule is to let the prospect dictate the type of handshake.   A good, firm handshake is best.   Never use a bone-crusher or a dead-fish handshake.   It is now generally accepted that the salesperson shakes hands with both men and women.

Look in the prospect’s eyes.

Do not smoke.  A cigarette detracts in many ways from your presentation, even when it doesn’t antagonize the prospect.   Do not even smoke if the prospect invites you to join him.   DO NOT SMOKE.

Basics – Ways to Improve Your Listening Skills

There are 10 ways to improve your listening skills.

  1. Take time to listen.
  2. Pay attention.
  3. Fight off distractions.
  4. Watch those emotions.
  5. Persuade while listening.
  6. Put yourself in the prospect’s shoes.
  7. Listen for the keys to the sale.
  8. Focus on ideas, not facts alone.
  9. Listen between the words.
  10. Give feedback.

1. Take time to listen.

Don’t feel that you aren’t selling when you aren’t talking.  You must take time to listen.

As you talk, if the buyer cuts in, stop talking and listen.  If you don’t, the prospect probably won’t hear another word you say anyway, because nothing is as interesting as what he’s wanting to say.

When the prospect asks a question, don’t be too quick with the answer.  Pause a few seconds to at least show that you are considering the question and to show that you want to give a good answer.  If you wait, you should give a better answer, and you will also be sure that the prospect has finished talking.

  1. Pay Attention.

To be a good listener, a salesperson must push his worries and plans into the background to make room for what the prospect is saying.

The customer wants attention.  He wants to be listened to.  So, give him your full attention.  Acknowledge what he says by giving some reply of word, gesture, or facial expression.

  1. Fight off distractions.

A salesperson must fight off all distractions.  The degree to which distractions keep us from listening depends upon our interest in the subject.  Since a salesperson’s paycheck depends on his success, he should be able to fight off all distractions.

  1. Watch those emotions.

A salesperson must keep an open mind.  Don’t get a closed mind because of emotional words or actions used by the prospect.  A prospect may make a really negative comment to you, but if you ask questions that lead him and allow him to get the venom out of his system, you may be able to get him thinking in a positive direction again.

Excitement can also be a problem.  The expectation of making a sale can make a salesperson over anxious, nervous, and impatient.  This can make the buyer cautious.  So, a salesperson must force the appearance of relaxation while retaining enthusiasm.

  1. Persuade while listening.

A salesperson can persuade in two important ways, by giving his obvious attention to what the prospect says, and by asking questions which probe deeper into the problem or desire.

  1. Put yourself in the prospect’s shoes.

By asking questions and listening, a salesperson develops empathy with the prospect.  When you do so, you put yourself into the prospect’s shoes, and this puts you into a better position to solve his problem and satisfy his needs.

  1. Listen for the keys to the sale.

A key to remaining interested in what the prospect is saying is to ask yourself what the prospect is saying that you can use to satisfy the prospect’s needs and wants and make the sale.

  1. Focus on ideas, not facts alone.

Many salespeople concentrate too much on retaining facts mentioned by their prospects.  A salesperson must not overlook the underlying purpose or desire the prospect has.

You may have to probe with other questions to get the main idea, but this is easy to do when you realize that you must not listen for facts alone.

  1. Listen between the words.

People don’t always say what they really mean about buying or not buying a product.  A salesperson cannot take comments at face value.  He must listen for clues as to why the prospect is really hesitating, what new appeal he needs to project.

  1. Give Feedback

Different people can hear the same thing and interpret it differently.  It is often good to repeat back to the prospect the gist of what he said to see if you really understand.  This technique also encourages the prospect to reassess what he said and listen to the salesperson.  It also lets the prospect know that the salesperson is really interested.

Basics – Listening Skills Are Important to Salespeople

A salesperson spends about 70% of his waking hours in communication with others.  A study at the University of Minnesota shows that communications activity is spent as follows: 9% in writing; 16% in reading; 30% in talking; and 45% in listening.  There are courses in reading, writing, and speaking, but not much in listening.  Since a salesperson spends 45% of his time listening, he must work to improve his listening habits and skills.

Questions are important.  But it’s not really the questions that are so important; it’s the answers.  A salesperson must listen skillfully to determine the true meaning of the reply and to keep from missing important information that can lead to the satisfaction of the customer and the sale.

One of the main reasons a salesperson doesn’t do a good job of listening is that he doesn’t pay attention.  Being a good listener takes work, and many of us are too concerned with preparing what we are going to say when the talker gets through.

Another factor is that many salespeople miss the real point.  Sometimes a salesperson becomes more interested in the prospect’s mannerisms, clothes, accent, or voice, and misses what he is really saying.  A listener can also pay so much attention to getting every detail that he misses the real meaning.

Another reason is that many salespeople allow their emotions to interfere.  Emotion is a barrier to comprehension.  Emotions can make us hostile to the speaker or unduly enthusiastic.