So far we have used the word “listen” as a catch-all term for your ability to understand
the information your customer shares with you. In this lesson we are going to show you
a much more important and useful definition of listening. You are going to learn that
your eyes have a significant role to play in the listening process.
Here is the important distinction. From now on we are going to define listening as the
ability to fully perceive both verbal and non-verbal communication from your customer.
Here’s why this is so important.
Experts have determined that less than half of communication is based on what is said.
The majority of communication is based on how something is said and on the body language
of the one speaking. So if we only listen with our ears, we are missing out on more
than half of what our customer is communicating.
Another reason that it is vital that every salesperson masters both verbal and non-verbal
communication is because it operates at a subconscious level. That means when your body
language says one thing and you say another your customer will become uncomfortable and
without even knowing why, they will begin to doubt your sincerity and/or integrity.
In previous lessons you have learned how powerful the subconscious mind is. Nonverbal communication
and body language, is a subconscious language that broadcasts our true feelings and intentions
in any given moment, and clues us in to the feelings and intentions of those around us.
It is important to recognize that non-verbal communication is a two way street. You want
to become skilled at recognizing and understanding the non-verbal communication that come to
you from customers and prospects and they will read you non-verbal communication as
When we interact with others, we continuously give and receive wordless signals. All of
our nonverbal behaviors including the gestures we make, the way we sit, how fast or how loud
we talk, how close we stand, how much eye contact we make, all send strong messages.
These messages don’t stop when you stop speaking either. Even when you’re silent,
you’re still communicating nonverbally.
Oftentimes, what we say and what we communicate through body language are two totally different
things. When faced with these mixed signals, the listener has to choose whether to believe
your verbal or nonverbal message, and, in most cases, they’re going to choose what
they get from your nonverbal communication.
The way you listen, look, move, and react tells the other person whether or not you
care, if you’re being truthful, and how well you’re listening. When your nonverbal
signals match up with the words you’re saying, they increase trust, clarity, and rapport.
When they don’t, they generate tension, mistrust, and confusion.
If you want to communicate better in all areas of your life, it’s important to become more
sensitive to body language and other nonverbal cues, so you can be more in tune with the
thoughts and feelings of others. You also need to be aware of the signals you’re sending
off, so you can be sure that the messages you’re sending are what you really want
There are many different types of nonverbal communication. They combine to deliver nonverbal
signals and cues to your real feelings and to your customer’s. Keep in mind that these
only provide information about how someone is thinking not what they're thinking. This
is an important distinction. Observing in context is key to understanding body language.
Keep in mind that each person has their own unique body language called baseline behaviors.
When observing others, be subtle about it.