Chapter 62

Seek To Understand

Today's Empowering Quote

"If you wish to please people, you must begin by understanding them."
-Charles Reade

Today's Empowering Question

"How can I learn about what's important to other people?"

Today's Fast Session

An automobile manufacturer ran ads some months ago that focused on the fact that their car had the same features as another manufacturer's car that cost about $30,000 more.

The point of the ad was, of course, that nobody really NEEDS a luxury automobile.  They want them... for THEIR own reasons.  And car companies know this.

We all have our own specific wants.  We want to be understood... to be heard. We want to believe we matter.  Even people who don't do a stinking thing for another living soul have these desires.

So if you're in a profession where you have to lead others to your way of thinking or you're teaching others, you need to enter their minds.  You must know where a person stands on an issue before you can direct them to the proper decision for them. You must learn about their needs or what their knowledge is about a specific subject before you can teach them anything.

In my sales career, I failed for a few YEARS because I just rattled my canned speech off, never really listening to what the other person was saying.

As a result, I went from brick and mortar to a one-room home that got 13 miles to the gallon.  Not using your ears has consequences... for everyone.

OK, now. Let's play a game...

You have to give a gift to someone you've never met.  You don't know their gender or even their nationality.  If they like your gift, you get a million dollars. If they don't like it, you get your head blown off.  Feel a little pressure?

Okay. Game's changed.  The person you must buy the gift for is your best friend in the world.  You know everything about them. Same terms... Either a million dollars or you swim with the fishes.

Feels a little different doesn't it?

So how in the world can you get your point across to others when you don't know what their viewpoint is, what matters to them or what makes them tick?

In the hearing field, I found there were many different reasons that people had for wanting to improve their hearing.  They may want to be a safer driver, have
conversations in a car, hear the TV better, hear the phone ring, hear better on the phone, hear in crowds.  The list is endless.

And there were just as many reasons why someone wanted to hold off. Too much money, cheaper somewhere else, never heard of us, only needs to hear in crowds, vanity.  Equally long list.

How can you convince someone they need to hear better in crowds when they're only in a big group once every 4 months or so?  Can't do it.  I had to find out why THEY wanted to hear well.  I was able to get so good at getting inside their heads that about 95% of my prospects chose me as their hearing instrument provider. Our industry average was about 25%...

All by asking questions thoughtfully and truly listening to the answers.

This doesn't only exist in selling products.  This is every day life.

Do this...

Starting today, listen to conversations other people are having.  Listen to your own.  Notice whether or not you or others just jump in and try to convince people of things before first finding out their opinion or position.  If so, you'll hear hesitation, doubt and rejection.  If you pay close enough attention, you'll observe all of those.

We all do things for our own reasons, not for the reasons suggested by overzealous people as they tell us about vague "benefits" that aren't even important to us.  When I stopped reciting my memorized lists of features and benefits and started asking questions and began purposefully listening to the answers, I began helping many people to join the world of the hearing.  My income skyrocketed, and I noticed that I learned something interesting and valuable from practically everyone I met.

If you can seek first to understand other people and what motivates them in every situation, you will be able to teach them, to lead them to the best decisions, and quite often to your way of thinking.

Tell me, why would that be important to you?

Today's Winning Beliefs

-- I get my way because I give people what they want
-- The more I understand, the better I persuade
-- I lead others to my way of thinking by asking questions
-- I avoid conflict by understanding other people
-- I'm seen as agreeable even though I get my way

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