Listening Is Tough For IT People Too!

March 9, 2009

Mike Sigers has a post on the Simplenomics blog  titled; Listening Is Tough For Sales People

As he quotes;

 “Waiting to talk is vastly different than listening.”

That is not just an issue that sales exec’s can have!

I am sure that many of you have heard tech staff say; “.. OK I can build / supply / show …” before the first sentance is out of your mouth. I am quite confident that I have done it myself. 

Now, I recently read The Trusted Advisor by David H. Maister, Charles H. Green and Robert M Galford. The book is excellent and I recommended it to Mike.

The first sentance of the book states it clearly;

LET’S START WITH A QUESTION: What benefits would you obtain if your clients trusted you more?

The book is dedicated to helping sales & professional consultant individuals move from being transactional subject matter experts (i.e. “.. yeah we got a product for that..” to the more strategic ‘trusted advisor’

The obvious question is why a business technology manager like myself read a book about improving selling?

My Answer?

As the authors state, improving those sales relationships begins on better listening, earning trust, and framing our responses to the issues that get identified. Not trying to insert our solution without knowing both he rational and emotional reasons behind what we are listening to.

And if you think that you as a manager in the small to medium business space never have to sell…..

I would argue that you are wrong.

You may not be selling a cash transaction with a customer, but you are always selling ideas, selling solutions, and negotiating methods of solving pain points in your business.

You could say that we are all responsible for selling.

Does anybody think that is wrong?

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2 Responses to “Listening Is Tough For IT People Too!”

  1. elliotross Says:

    @Charles – thank you so much for dropping by!

    I confess that I have plugged the book more than once – maybe just not so publicly, I will definitely take a look at those references, and I am sure Mike will too.


    Elliot Ross

  2. Elliot,

    Thanks for that succinct statement (and plug for the book). As we state in the book, having the right answer is vastly overrated in the business world, and not just in sales. Getting people to accept your advice is at least as important, and quite a different skill.

    A third of my work is with internal organizations applying trust principles to their internal clients; the dynamics are really pretty much the same.

    For anyone interested, I have several dozen articles available for free at my website (, plus links to my other book Trust-based Selling. But I’ll end there.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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