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Published Articles by David Balovich

Title: Are You Listening?
Published in: Creditworhty News
Date: 3/14/01
In my seminars on Successful Collection Techniques the most frequently asked question is "What is the most important skill/technique in the collection process?"

The answer of course is listening. Now most credit and collection professionals believe, incorrectly, that they are good listeners. In reality, they are excellent talkers.

This becomes evident during seminar when numerous participants will ask questions that have previously been addressed and answered. It is often the most intelligent who are the worst listeners. Why? Because they are quick enough to understand the direction the conversation is headed and jump ahead waiting for others to catch up. Unfortunately, they miss out on the details which is instrumental in achieving the desired results; getting the money.

Are you a good listener? Here are five important tips on becoming a good listener:

1. Make a conscious decision to listen. We are surrounded by "white noise" and often times we allow that noise to interfere with our listening. White noise is a radio playing in the background until we hear a favorite song and then we refocus our attention to that song.  

2. Take notes. Good listeners take notes. It allows us to filter out the "white noise" regardless of what it is.

3. Control your emotions. There are words or phrases that will prevent us from listening because they are reactionary. Learn to respond rather then react to what is being said.  Often times people will say things to invoke a reaction rather then elicit a response.

4. Control distractions. All too often I see someone "listening" on the phone while carrying on a conversation with another person at their desk. Who are they really listening to? I get in trouble all the time at home when my wife is speaking to me while I'm watching a sporting event on TV.

5. Clarify what is being said. Ask questions of the speaker that will assist you in "nailing down" the important points necessary to secure payment. Many times the speaker will raise trivial issues in their attempt to reach a conclusion. Clarification separates the important from the trivial but most important it demonstrates that you are listening to what is being said.

There are more tips to being a successful listener, however, the constraints of the column does not allow me too list all of them.

If you would like more information on improving listening skills, you know how to contact me.

I wish you well.

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