Are you a good listener?
“What’s better?” The customer asked me, “The RCA or the Sony?”
I puffed up my chest feeling happy about the question because now I could spill out all the knowledge I had been accumulating on the products in the television department. It was my second week on the job and I had been studying all the products non-stop for those two weeks. Finally, I could impress someone.
So, I let it rip. I told that poor customer everything I knew about the RCA TV’s, then everything I knew about the Sony TV’s. He stood there dumbfounded and listened to my entire pitch. Finally, I stopped feeling very confident and happy about myself.
The customer responded, “Wow. That was a lot of stuff. You know your televisions.”
I stood there smiling when he followed with, “That was so much information, I forgot my question.”
“You asked which was better, the RCA or the Sony?” I repeated proudly.
“And, what was the answer?”
“The Sony,” I sheepishly said.
“I’ll take it.”
Learning my lesson, I shut up and walked over to the cash register and took his order.
I remember—in my interview for this company—the hiring manager asked if I was a good listener.
“Of course,” I replied, “Sellin’ ain’t tellin’” I confidently told my interviewer quoting a famous salesman, Zig Ziglar.
He hired me; however, on my first sale, clearly I didn’t listen. I could have sold that guy a Sony in a minute with one sentence and moved on to another sale rather than trying to impress myself with all my knowledge on TV’s had I simply listened to the question.