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The Top Seven Mistakes Poor Listeners Make

By Hilton Johnson, The MLM Coach™ of MLM University™

1. Interrupting

Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone who kept finishing your sentences for you? Have you ever had someone answer your question before you could finish asking it? Don't you find that irritating?

Lesson from the coach: Even at the risk of losing an important thought, never interrupt another person, especially a prospect. It's okay for a prospect to interrupt you, but it's never okay for you to interrupt him or her.

2. Talking Too Much

Everybody loves to talk. The trouble is, network marketers talk more than any other group I know of when they get around a prospect. They talk about themselves; they hawk their products; they can't resist telling prospects about their business. Talk, talk, talk.

Enough already!

Network marketers who talk more than they listen usually talk themselves right out of the business.

Lesson from the coach: Shut up, ask questions and let the prospect have all of the fun talking. You might just learn something.

3. Matching the Prospect's Points

Here's the scenario: A prospect tells a distributor about a situation he (she) had once and the distributor immediately jumps in with something like, "Oh, yeah, I had something like that happen to me, too. It all started when..."

Or, another situation might be that a prospect mentions in the conversation that she has grandchildren and the distributor thinks he will score points if he tells her about his grandchildren.

Lesson from the coach: The prospect doesn't care about you. She didn't invite you there to discover how interesting you are. You don't matter. You're chopped liver. She wants to focus on herself. Listen to what she has to say and quit thinking about you.

4. Editorializing in Midstream

In a presentation a prospect says something the network marketer has emotional feelings about and he decides to express them... ("You know, here's how I personally feel about that. Blah, blah blah...")

Lesson from the coach: The prospect doesn't care about what you think. (As long as it doesn't adversely affect him or her.) Keep your opinions to yourself.

5. Solving Problems Too Soon

This is one of the most blatant mistakes that I see all of the time:

The network marketer hears the prospect express a need (that can easily be met with the company's products and services) and he immediately offers to meet the need. (Yes, I know, it's very difficult not to respond to a burning need.)

Offering solutions to problems before listening to a prospect's complete situation will have an adverse effect on any presentation or prospecting call.

Lesson from the coach: Listen to ALL of the needs the prospect may have and try to extract the ones he is really passionate about solving. In other words, shut up (there it is again) and ask questions. Present your solutions and benefits later when they have more emotional power.

6. Being Judgmental

Let's say that as you are talking with a prospect you discover that he or she has beliefs, ideas and/or philosophies that are exactly the opposite of your own, what do you do?

One of the worst things you can do is to make a judgment about that person and let it show. Judging people takes the focus off of them (where it belongs) and places it on you (where it doesn't). You cannot be listening on a deep level if everything your prospect says makes you think of you.

Lesson from the coach: Practice listening to people without thinking of yourself. Ignore your own opinions and judgments. When you give your presentation, let them decide the value for themselves and YOU stay out of the way. If they ask you a question, answer it but keep it non-judgmental.

7. Thinking of Your Next Question

It's impossible to think about two things at exactly the same time. If you are thinking about what question you will ask next during a presentation, you will not hear what your prospect just told you. Then you run the risk of your prospect discovering that you were not listening.

Lesson from the coach: Don't worry about your next question. Study your questions before you approach or present to prospects and then forget about all of them except your opening question. Listen very carefully to what your prospect is saying and your subconscious mind will automatically feed the right questions to you at the right time.

Until Next Time,

Hilton Johnson

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Reprinted with permission from Cutting Edge Media's
MLM Marketing and Sponsoring Tips Newsletter.

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