We have all heard the expression "silence is golden." Well, nowadays it's even harder to find such silence. Without even opening our mouths and speaking, we create noise.  Just going to a movie these days involves a commercial that tells us to turn down our cellphones and to "keep our mouths shut" (though they say it in a nicer way).  We are all just a bundle of constant information, and understandably, we want to share our wealth of information with others.  But, at the same time, we know that it is difficult to brainstorm or problem solve or be creative without allowing ourselves to be in a quiet environment.

YOU CAN NEVER LET THE CLIENT see ANGER OR FRUSTRATION TOO DIRECTLY.  Having a perfected level of listening skills will benefit you tremendously in the negotiation process.  

Be truly in tune with the client has to say.  This will help them to feel acknowledged and important, and ultimately open to what you are saying.

Ok.  So you are as prepared as you can be when you arrive for that next meeting with a potential client.  In your mind you are rehearsing just what you would like to say, and how you are going to say it.  But all of that preparation will mean nothing if the person on the other side of the table is not receptive to listening – really hearing the words that you are saying.  You want them to know that you did your homework and are telling them exactly how your service or product will help their company.  And, when we feel that someone is not really listening to us, it hurts our ego.  We are only human, after all.

Having been in this kind of situation, you might come to realize that having a perfected level of listening skills will benefit you tremendously in the negotiation process.  It shows you as being truly in tune with the client, and that you are open and accepting of what the client has to say.  The client will feel acknowledged and important, and your business relationship will reach deeper and deeper levels of trust.

Negotiations are often difficult to sit through without feeling some sense of emotion – maybe you are frustrated with the client or anxious about holding your ground.  BUT YOU CAN NEVER LET THE CLIENT SEE YOUR ANGER OR FRUSTRATION TOO DIRECTLY.  Yes, there will be times when your tone is not so "refined", but by taking a few seconds to REALLY DIGEST WHAT THEY ARE SAYING SHOWS THEM THAT YOU ARE NOT JUST GOING TO REGURGITATE A RESPONSE IN RETALIATION.  Rather, you are going to show them the respect that they deserve by hearing them out, and then formulate an appropriate response.  

KEEPING YOUR EMOTIONS IN CHECK DURING ANY NEGOTIATION IS KEY.  

ASK QUESTIONS.  With each response given by your client, a surge of questions may come to you.  BUt DON"T BLURT THEM OUT RIGHT AWAY.  Be sure that the client has finished their thoughts.  Take notes as they are speaking.  When the pause from talking, look down at your notes, even if you have a question ready.  Show them that you are "in the moment" and that you are making it a point to really understand their comments and point of view.  Then, look them directly in the eye, and lean forward presenting your question to them. Seeing you act this way will keep the client engaged, and reinforce that you are deserving of their business.

To test yourself on how good of a listener you are, ask yourself:  Do you give advice before it is asked? Do you interrupt by jumping into a conversation too early?  Do you tune certain people out in a meeting, because of what you think of them?  Would other people say I am a good listener?

  • BE RECEPTIVE AND RESPONSIVE, RATHER THAN JUST REACTIVE TO WHAT IS BEING SAID.  
  • Don't think that by being silent that you are being passive or submissive.  
  • RATHER, YOUR SILENCE WILL SPEAK VOLUMES and help to establish the level of respect that you deserve.    

Listening shows you as being truly in tune with the client, and that you are open and accepting of what the client has to say. Rather, you are going to show them the respect that they deserve by hearing them out, and then formulate an appropriate response. With each response given by your client, a surge of questions may come to you.