A salesman from Apple and a salesman from IBM occupy offices in the same building. The Apple salesman was in his thirties, the IBM salesman was in his sixties. They rode the elevator together on the way home from work after an unbelievably hot, sticky day. The younger Apple salesman was dressed in business casual, a neat looking Apple golf shirt was tucked into his pair of black dress pants. The IBM rep was wearing his corporate issued dark blue business suit, equipped with standard white shirt and IBM blue tie affixed with the customary Windsor knot.
The Apple salesman was completely exhausted, and he noted with some
resentment that his competitor, the more senior IBM salesman, was as
fresh as a daisy. "I don't understand," marveled the Apple salesman in
the elevator that day. "How can you listen to customers all day long,
from morning till night, on a day like this, and still look so spry and
unbothered when it's over?"
The older IBM salesman replied simply, "Who listens?"
Moral of the story. True sales professionals know that listening to
customers is key to success. You stay in touch with the marketplace,
with customer needs and find out about the competition by listening. If
a customer for one moment suspects that you are not listening, they
will assume that you don't care about their business and they will take
that business elsewhere. Soon by not listening, your company's phones
will stop ringing, and sales will ground to a halt. Most people think
you get ahead in business by speaking up. On the contrary, you really
learn a lot more and rise a lot faster by listening up! Can you hear
what I'm saying today people? (Just kidding.)