I discovered active listening a few years back. I developed the skill because of my Asperger-like personality. When I completed my business degree I became more focused on socializing and networking. Since these are not natural skills I had to develop them in a more mechanical way than the business people who came by it naturally.
Small Business owners encounter negotiation with suppliers as well as customers. Active listening is great as both a personal tool as well as a business tool. In this article the author discusses the steps that can get a person to change their mind. When reading through this there is no secret. Be kind and show genuine interest. Develop a bond and the person will trust you and want to be convinced by you.