Since Larry King’s passing, there have been many profiles of his legendary work, philosophy, and impact. One of his famous quotes has appeared repeatedly in these tributes (and if you are familiar with Carew’s sales quote of the week, you saw us share his words on Monday): “I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.”

Great minds throughout history and across all walks of life have emphasized the virtues of listening. Listening has a central and timeless role in developing healthy, productive relationships. Listening creates the very foundation for persuasive communication in any situation, whether it’s a sales call or, in Larry King’s case, an interview.

King listened intently to guests, rarely interrupting. While I was reading the tributes to King that have been published recently, I also came across this quote: “King was one of the few interviewers who would ask you a question and then actually let you answer!” So, as we mourn the death of an icon, it is an opportune time to reflect on the power of listening. Larry King used his listening skills to build trust with others. This is imperative for successful interviewers as well as successful salespeople.

Attentive, empathetic listening is the first step in Carew’s LAER: The Bonding Process® (a foundational concept in our flagship sales training program Dimensions of Professional Selling®). You can’t bond with a customer, or address their objection, or empathize with their situation until you have listened to them.

Listening demonstrates respect, interest, and care for the customer.

Perhaps more importantly, it provides the means for collecting information relative to the customer’s needs, fears, desires, challenges, and goals. Listening is one of the most effective ways to create a comfortable environment that encourages others to convey their thoughts and feelings. Listen to understand, rather than to build your reply. Very few people listen this way, and that’s the reason very few people stand out.

Take a moment to learn from the stories, tributes, and memories of Larry King, specifically as they relate to listening. The importance of listening to understand cannot be emphasized enough.

Image source: @kingsthings. (2019, November 19). Thank you to all for the birthday wishes today. 86 years later and you all still make me feel like a real king. [Twitter post]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/kingsthings/status/1196952109532344321

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