“The only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it,” said Dale Carnegie in How to Win Friends and Influence People. Since business development is all about influence, that’s a statement worth etching into your mind. But first, how do you know what other people want to talk about? Ask questions and listen. So, listening is a critical skill for all business-to-business telemarketers. It enables them to understand a prospect’s situation and respond with relevant questions and insightful answers. And because we lose the ability to use body language on the phone, listening is even more important on the phone than during an in-person sales call. When you listen, you can more easily empathize with a prospect. Also, when you listen, you demonstrate respect, enhancing the chances for business collaboration, problem solving and developing a win-win situation.