Communicating with Style

(Blog #8 in the ongoing series derived from a book Harris DeWese wrote several years ago—“A Year of Selling Profitably.” The book was written for printers to use as a guide in training their sales teams through a series of two-hour sessions over 48 weeks.)

Ask yourself to list your positive and negative listening habits. What do you do that might turn off a buyer? What do you do that consistently impresses buyers?

Didn’t get an objective report? Too many positive observations vs. negative? It’s hard to be honest with yourself about yourself.

Track down your significant other. Ask him/her to make a list.

Now, if your dear mother is available, ask her to make a list of your strengths and weaknesses.

Next, ask your best friend (if you have one), then your priest, rabbi or preacher (if you have one).

Ask your boss and some co-workers. If you have any customers who seem to like you, ask them for a list.

Finally, if you have some customers who don’t seem to like you, ask them.

All any of these folks can do is to turn you down. Whatever feedback you get will be helpful and I can guarandamnty you that this list experience will make you PERMANENTLY mindful of your need to be a good listener.

Your attentiveness will become your trademark. People will say, “I like to talk to Marge because she listens to what I say.” When that happens, you may be as good of a salesperson as Kitty St. Sauveur up in Boston or Dave van Dusenin Philadelphia. They are both heavy hitters burdened with tricky last names, but their customers love them ’cause they listen real good.

Exercise 3 (30 MINUTES)

What if you are an active listener, but the buyer is not?

Harris DeWese is the author of "Now Get Out There and Sell Something." He is chairman/CEO at Compass Capital Partners and an author of the annual "Compass Report," the definitive source of info regarding printing industry M&A activity. DeWese has completed 100-plus printing company transactions and is viewed as the preeminent deal maker in the industry. He specializes in investment banking, M&A, sales, marketing and management services to printers.

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