If you are in sales or recruitment it does not make much sense to talk a lot.

Your client likes you much more if you listen to him with the intention to understand. You do, obviously, a much better interview with a candidate if you listen, instead of talking.

The funny thing is that salespeople often think they should talk a lot when they are having a sales pitch. And many interviewers (often from client-side) interviewing their candidates do most of the talking, instead of letting their candidates do the talking.

If you want to be successful with your sales pitch and your interview, you shut up. You ask questions, which you prepared, and you listen. You listen with the intention to understand.

And here is the secret:

The better you listen, the more you understand, the more the other person can speak, the more they like you. The smarter they think you are.

Is listening attentively difficult? You bet. Not many people are able to listen and understand what has been said as their thoughts jump into the conversation and they have a strong urge to immediately reply. And if they don’t reply verbally they reply in their mind and by doing so they miss most of what is being said.

Tips for increasing your listening skills:

  1. Paraphrase the person when he or she has finished her point
  2. Force yourself not to speak until the other person has finished
  3. Silence your thoughts and pay full attention to what has been said
  4. Do not jump into conclusions, don’t make any mental remarks
  5. Make notes of what the person is talking about
  6. Train to be silent: pick a day per week to say nothing at all…that is sooooo cool

Good luck!


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