How to Measure Your Listening Skills — A Simple Low-Tech Method

How well do you listen on a sales call?

sales coach tip: salespeople should listen

Photo by helga1981

You’ve heard sales coaches like me preach the value of effective listening. You’ve heard the same thing from your managers. You’ve read it in books. 

So how good are you? And how do you measure it?

Here’s a simple, low-cost way to make sure you’re listening rather than pitching during an initial sales call. All you need is a pen, a pad of paper, and the ability to be honest with yourself.

This comes from a podcast interview Anthony Iannarino did with sales expert Nigel Green. Iannarino is the author of The Lost Art of Closing and The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need. Green is a business-to-business sales coach.

In the podcast, Green discusses the value of taking notes in a meeting. In addition to using his notes to remember important points of the conversation, he also uses them to track his listening effectiveness:

 One of the things I want to remember is how many questions I ask versus how many statements I make. I just keep a little tally on my notepad. When I ask a question, I give myself a little tick. When I make a statement, I give myself a little tick. It’s a good meeting for me if I ask twice as many questions as statements I make. If you start tracking your question to statement ratio, you will become a better listener.”

Before your next sales call, add “question/statement ratio” to your notepad, and keep close track. Over time, if you’re paying attention, questions will rise and statements will drop.

As the number and quality of questions increases, so will your income.

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