Thursday, February 4, 2010

Break the I-Habit

I'm a sales professional who likes to think I have better-than-average communications skills. Yet, I still find myself interrupting customers. I do it less than I used to, but this year it's the habit I intend to break once and for all. Brains process information at lightning speed. We make connections, draw conclusions, assemble brilliant insights and derive helpful suggestions. The urge to express ourselves is powerful because we're ego-centric creatures. When egos override good manners, we interrupt. If we have a good relationship with a customer, interrupting isn't a deal killer. When you're talking to a prospect you barely know, it's different. I'm sure I lost opportunities over the years simply because I cut off a new acquaintance at the wrong moment and made them like me less as a result.

To stop interrupting, take three easy steps.
1. Notice when you do it.

2. If you open your mouth when someone is speaking, shut it immediately and NOD to show you're listening.

3. Touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth and leave it there as a reminder to keep lips zipped until it's your turn to talk.

One last tip. Follow this simple strategy when you're on the phone because it helps you build relationships there as well.

Do you have any tips to break the I-Habit?

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