my seminars on Successful Collection Techniques the most frequently
asked question is "What is the most important skill/technique in
the collection process?"
answer of course is listening. Now most credit and collection
professionals believe, incorrectly, that they are good listeners. In
reality, they are excellent talkers.
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.
you a good listener? Here are five important tips on becoming a good
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.
Take notes. Good listeners take notes. It allows us to filter out the
"white noise" regardless of what it is.
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.
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.
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.
are more tips to being a successful listener, however, the constraints
of the column does not allow me too list all of them.
you would like more information on improving listening skills, you
know how to contact me.
wish you well.