Being a better listener, and particularly, a better active listener, is extremely beneficial in life but also in sales. Sales! The subject of many, many business emails right now. The subject in many personal emails right now. One necessary ingredient in good sales is good listening (aka active listening), and in order to actively listen, you need to be able to sit still.
Here’s where the yoga comes in. Yoga has been proven time and time again to help with information retention and focus— the key components for active listening. If you are able to absorb what your client or associate is telling you, you will be able to summarize it effectively and have them feel understood. This level of feeling understood directly correlates with better sales.
Philosophically, we talk about putting the ego away so that we can really listen to someone else. Physically, it has more to do with the nervous system.
If you are feeling defensive and nervous, your sympathetic nervous system is most likely in dominance. That’s the one that takes care of you when you’re in danger and puts you in fight, flight, freeze, or collapse. This is very important when you actually are in danger, or when you have a deadline looming and need to get a million things done. It’s not so great when your sympathetic nervous system is ALWAYS in dominance (like most of us in America). When your stress levels are constantly elevated, this can cause a host of physical and mental illnesses, which in turn leads to decreased productivity.
If you feel relaxed and at ease, your parasympathetic nervous system is in dominance. The parasympathetic nervous system is typically the one that most people living in America need help accessing. This helps you recharge your batteries so you can increase your productivity.
Ideally, we want a healthy balance between the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous systems. Yoga has been found to not only strengthen both of these, but to allow an easier switch from one to the other. This means that you might leave work both physically and mentally on Friday at 5!
So what does this mean for sales again? It means you will be a better listener. You will be able to concentrate more easily on what your client wants from you, and you will be able to deliver.
I encourage you to try it out before your next meeting, or even right now. Take a slow deep breath in and out. Sit up tall. Let your body relax as much as possible while maintaining healthy posture. You just did yoga.