Listen more and talk less

You might think you know what people want but the most effective way is to ask.  So why don’t we do it?

Topic – 5 things I learnt from Mark Bouris

Mentor – Stephanie Wimpenny

  • Don’t miss the ‘gems’
  • Listen actively
  • Listen to learn


Kevin:  Yesterday when I finished talking with Stephanie Wimpenny who is our guest this week. Stephanie is from Moreton Bay Realty in Brisbane and was a guest, the first guest, in fact on Mark Bouris’s show The Mentor. I said yesterday, Stephanie, that what we’re going to talk about this morning, the skill is something that many agents never pick up on and as a consequence it actually costs them a lot of money. You would, by your own admission, be guilty of this as well wouldn’t you?

Stephanie: Super Guilty

Kevin:  And that skill is listen more and talk less. You know there’s an old saying, Stephanie, and that is that we were born with two eyes, two ears and one mouth which means that one fifth of everything we should do should be talking. We should listen more. It is a skill that I know you struggled a bit with but what have you learned in this period of time?

Stephanie: I just really, I never realised how much I talk. Like, I know that I’ve always been a talker but really, I think I’m listening, this is the crazy part. Like, I actually think I’m listening. And then people say ‘You’re not listening to me, its like you’re not even hearing me.’ I’m like, I’m right here I just told you an answer and you just asked me the same question. So, and I don’t know if that’s because I’m trying to get to the bottom of what I want.

Kevin:  Yeah, mm-hmm (affirmative).

Stephanie: And I’m trying to be five steps ahead and therefore in my brain being five steps ahead I’m not in the present? Or, I don’t know, because I don’t think I’m intentionally trying not to listen, if that makes sense, I’m trying to listen, but its not computing in my brain.

Kevin:  There is a difference between listening to understand, and listening to strategize how you want the conversation to go.

Stephanie: That’s it, yeah.

Kevin:  And I think if you’re genuinely listening to understand you’ll be asking questions like, “Stephanie I don’t really understand that could you just explain that a little bit more.” That you’re actively listening when you’re doing that, having that kind of conversation I think.

Stephanie: Mm-hmm (affirmative) Yeah

Kevin:  You said in the notes here that your client is the most important asset to you, and we often miss the gems and I think that’s the message out of today, is that if you’re actively listening you gotta pick up some really great clues about how you can work with that person, Stephanie, aren’t you?

Stephanie: Mm-hmm (affirmative) Yeah, and the thing is its super subtle. And like, they’re just tiny little nuances they’re tiny little inflections that  a client might say that it literally is the key to opening up the entire Pandora’s Box. And if you’re not present and if you’re not paying attention and you’re too busy like me sometimes being five steps ahead, you miss that key that,. that one thing that would really solve a lot of the problems that you’re trying to get to at the time.

Kevin:  Mm-hmm (affirmative) I guess it goes back to what you and I talked about on Monday which was not assuming, In other words asking questions. Really digging, researching and finding out but listening. Because if you’re not doing that you’re really trying to look for assumptions that will reinforce your view on something as opposed to trying to understand the other persons position.

Stephanie: Mm-hmm (affirmative) and from my experience, nothing, nothing infuriates a person more than when you are sitting there making assumptions and telling somebody about their life when you don’t actually know anything about their life. It infuriates people.

Kevin:  It does, and you know the other thing about conversations is, and I learned this many many years ago, the best way to keep control of a conversation, is to ask the questions. It’s not so much knowing the answers its actually knowing the right questions to ask and if you do that then you’re actually going to be learning a lot more about the other person Stephanie..

Stephanie: Yeah, I totally agree. It’s really something that I am still working on because I think the power of asking a good question is so underrated. Like it really is. And I remember going through high school and I was always the friend who would go to the other friend who’s a great listener and I would just spill my heart out to them. And so now I’m coming to learn to be the opposite person and that is not a natural feel to me at all. Like I’m so much better at answering other peoples questions than asking a good question. So I really think it is something that, even for myself and for other agents, like once you learn the skill I think you would be unstoppable.

Kevin:  Yeah It is a great skill and to training that, I believe that’s exactly what you’re doing, you did an exercise the other day you told me about listening to a bias conversation. So do you listen to it and then replay what it is you understood about what they said to you?

Stephanie: Yeah, well that’s where I came down in that conversation. Because like I was saying I was five steps ahead. But yes essentially that is the point so Matt Lancashire was teaching us the only possibilities of a buyer conversation when you’re calling them back after an open home and that is that they want to buy the home or that they need finance or they’re not interested and they’re potentially a seller so you’re looking for those three things and that’s where I really struggled because in the training I was working with Mom, Sharron, and she said to me basically all those three things so I’m like ‘tick, tick, tick great you meet all three’ and then my brain literally went into overdrive going ‘well how the hell do I answer all of those questions and progress the conversation in the direction I need it to go to as opposed to just literally listening and being present and as you said, going back to her and saying ‘I heard this, this, this and this is that what you mean?’

Kevin:  Yup. And that’s, see once again that’s how you control in the conversation by you throwing it back at people and you’re asking them that question- have I understood this correctly? Is this what you meant? All of those power questions keep you in control of the conversation. And you’ll probably learn a bit more because they might come back and say- ‘well no, I meant this…’ and that’s where the level of understanding goes up.

Stephanie: Yeah

Kevin:  Hey Stephanie great talking to you this morning were out of time unfortunately. I could talk to you for a long time on this subject but tomorrow I’m going to come back and, you know, the key lesson seeking mentorship is what were going to talk about tomorrow. No doubt, well talk a lot about Mark Bouris in that too so, Stephanie we will talk to you tomorrow morning!

Stephanie: Thanks for your time!

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