Insurance Agent Blog

Shut up and listen
/ Categories: Marketing & Sales

Shut up and listen

Mark Goulston thinks that when you get on a roll, you just can't keep your mouth shut and you may be wearing out your welcome. Goulston is a business psychiatrist, author and executive advisor and he has made the topics of listening and influencing his business. In Harvard Business Review, he offers a way for you to know if you do, indeed, talk too much.

He notes:

There are three stages of speaking to other people. In the first stage, you’re on task, relevant and concise. But then you unconsciously discover that the more you talk, the more you feel relief. Ahh, so wonderful and tension-relieving for you… but not so much fun for the receiver. This is the second stage – when it feels so good to talk, you don’t even notice the other person is not listening.

The third stage occurs after you have lost track of what you were saying and begin to realize you might need to reel the other person back in. If during the third stage of this monologue poorly disguised as a conversation you unconsciously sense that the other person is getting a bit fidgety, guess what happens then?

Goulsten suggests a simple method for learning how to shut up and listen: Employ the

Traffic Light Rule. This simple rule is good advice for anyone who makes a living selling. Other experts agree:

"Most of the successful people I've known are the ones who do more listening than talking."

-- Bernard Baruch

Most people think "selling" is the same as "talking". But the most effective salespeople know that listening is the most important part of their job.

-- Roy Bartell

"If speaking is silver, then listening is gold."

-- Turkish Proverb

"Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply."

-- Stephen R. Covey

"The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said."

-- Peter Drucker

“Listen to people from your heart, as if your life depended on it, and you will find that in turn people will listen to you with all of theirs.”

-- Chris Murray

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