The most experienced salespeople are often caught out when they have not read in between the lines correctly.
So often a buyer or a seller will expect you to read between the lines or listen to what is not being said.
A seller might turn down an offer and say ” Oh, I’m not in any hurry to sell”, only to call the next day asking “Have you sold it yet?”
And a buyer might say ” there is far too much to do” when what they really mean is ” I want to get the price down”.
So being able to listen to what is not being said and read between the lines is an important skill for most salespeople and negotiators.
Tips to reading between the lines
- Pay attention to their choice of words, their body language and the situation that you are currently conversing in.
- Use neutral statements to encourage the person to keep talking, i.e. “tell me more, I see, go on”
- Notice their body language, are they folding their arms, looking elsewhere, seem distracted?
- If their hands are on their hips they might be feeling impatient and if their hands are in their lap they are likely feeling relaxed or happily content.
- Reflect on the things they said, what was the main focus of the conversation? i.e. Was there anything that seemed uncomfortable, or not fitting?
- Perhaps they might have told you that at the time of listing that they had to sell because of a job transfer, and now they saying they are not in a hurry to sell – what has changed?
When somebody says ” I am 99 % sure”….do they really mean “I have no idea” ? Or what about “I can’t move on that figure” when negotiating, when you know full well that the buyer has been looking at properties far in excess of what they are offering on. Do they really mean “I want a bargain” ? What about “Advertising is far too expensive” Is that another way of saying ” If I list with you I want you to pay for it” ? Or “I need to sleep on it” Does that really mean “I don’t want it and don’t know how to let you down gently seeing that you have spent so much time and effort helping me?”
The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.