“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.”
– Ram Dass
Every second you are talking in a sales conversation is a second you are not listening to your customer. You are listening to yourself. Use words sparingly, returning to “input mode” as quickly as possible, giving yourself the chance to be alert and notice things that can drive your reactions.
I’m always impressed by how infrequently stage improvisers interrupt each other. One reason for this is that these actors are much more focused on listening and observing than on talking. Their mouths wait for their ears and eyes, and this extra focus on input makes it easier for them to exchange the focus of the scene between themselves.
Contrast this with business meetings where people are more interested in getting their points out than they are interested in listening to others. People are constantly starting sentences in the middle of other people’s sentences, and people are not alert to cues from colleagues that could help communication.
Sell like the stage improviser, not like that obnoxious guy you work with who is always interrupting people in meetings. The quieter you become, the more you can hear.