“Really successful people don’t live in the present. They imagine the future and visualise what their customers want.”- Robin Rowland


You are forgiven for scratching your head and asking at this point the question, “How?!” Good point – let’s see if we can come up with a reasonable answer to the consideration of how one can anticipate someone’s needs – it seems counter-intuitive at first, when one of the primary ‘rules’ of sales is to listen, meaning one needs to be fully present and in the present.

That might make you successful now and produce a degree of success in the future – but if you remain only in the present, you potentially deny yourself the chance to learn from what you are hearing. What does this mean? It means that needs don’t always remain the same.

As we evolve, our personalities and perceptions do and, yes, at times, our needs evolve. As we fully, really, truly and attentively listen to how someone changes their expressions, we learn to understand how and why a need changes – then we can position ourselves to anticipate the direction that that need’s change will take.

And when your customers behave this way, with you working hard on understanding their evolution, you identify and propose solutions that suit their need even at times before they themselves come to understand that that need is there.

This is not the same thing as either guessing or becoming clairvoyant – it does, however, involve opening yourself up to the possibility of becoming more intuitive……by not just listening to words but by listening to how someone speaks, by sensing and working with their emotional output, not just their vocabulary – and also by ‘listening’ to their body language.

Listen, observe, learn, understand, listen more, observe more, learn more, understand more – apply your learning to creative solutions, propose them when you hear the signal that change is happening – observe how the proposition is received – adjust if needed – test again: the key to all of this is always, always, always to listen!

Then you should find your levels of success are elevated – and, by the way, it’s not just in sales that this idea can apply – it can also be relevant in coaching, in customer service, in consulting, in therapy and even in personal relationships – romantic or platonic. 

With whom are you currently working whose needs you feel you must keep not just up to speed with but ahead of? What could you learn from them by deepening your listening skill?

Love and light,

Jim Sharman


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