Winning new business through bids and tenders is something that has effective communication at its core. Yet, how often do we focus on our output and 'getting our message across' rather than on really listening to what the client is trying to tell us? And how many more opportunities could we win if our communication skills had an equal focus on being better at listening?
The modern world is so full of stimuli that our brains have to filter most of them out. Around 95% of them in fact. So, when our brain is working so hard to shut out information, how do we give it a helping hand to tune in to the things that matter? Things that a client may be telling you during a tendering process, for example. Effective or “Active listening” is a vital skill. Mastering it will make a huge difference to how effectively you interact with your customers.
What does it mean to listen?
You might think that listening and hearing are the same thing. But consider for a moment how the phrase 'I hear what you say' gets misused and you start to see how they are different Listening is a process that has three basic steps and 'hearing' is just part of the process..
Becoming an 'Active' listener
Listening effectively is not a passive process. You have to be engaged and you have to be actively involved. Here's a few tips on how you can sharpen up your listening skills:
You can think faster than you can talk
Time is on your side! Thoughts move about four times as fast as speech. With practice, while you are listening you will also be able to think about what you are hearing. You can then really understand it and give appropriate feedback to the speaker. Put these ideas into practice and you'll find that you are not only hearing more, you'll be understanding more and communicating more effectively too.
The Bid Coach helps people from businesses of all sizes to become more effective communicators, especially when they are seeking to win significant chunks of new business. More and more clients want to interview the team they would be working with before making the final purchasing decision so building effective rapport during any face to face communications is an ever more crucial part of the business winning process. Call him on (01963) 240555 email [email protected] or visit www.thebidcoach.com
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I have many years of senior sales and account management positions.
This experience taught me how to interpret exactly what clients are seeking, and what they need and expect to see and hear from the successful bidder. We draw on this experience to give your team an additional competitive advantage by building on their existing strengths while improving their team-working and self-awareness.