One major failing amongst sales people is not listening. Listening is unnatural for many of us, and sales people are the worst.
As we all know, there's no better voice than our own! We're always too busy telling someone how amazing our widget is, that we miss all the useful stuff!
If you don't listen, you can't:
Truly be present
Learn about the situation
Drop in the questions that are pertinent to qualify the opportunity
Become the vital link and make your customer the hero!
Personally, I sometimes find it really difficult to listen without my mind wandering!
As my colleagues will tell you, I take heaps of notes while I'm meeting people, it helps me tune into what they are a saying and to focus on the most salient points. I type my notes so they are readable & referencable afterwards.
You can practice in everyday life. With your spouse, proactively listen to how their day has been (yes, I know).
There are specific listening skills that you can learn, such as those in this article from Forbes.
Please share this article! I would also love to hear from you with your comments or if you have any questions.