Time to listen up

19178111 We've all heard the quote from the Greek philosopher Epictetus, "we were born with two ears and one mouth, so we can listen twice as much as we speak."

I doubt Epictetus was a marketing consultant, but it is not a stretch to apply his wisdom to our efforts.  Marketers have a tendency to "talk" a lot.  After all, we have a lot to say.  We have features to point out.  Benefits to reference.  Special pricing to announce.  Nothing wrong with any of that.

But we also need to listen.

How do we listen to our marketplace?  Try some of these on for size:

  • Client satisfaction survey
  • Client needs assessments
  • Attend industry trade shows
  • Monitor blogs for mentions of your company and your competitors
  • Read trade publications
  • The old-fashioned suggestion box
  • Google yourself/company

Along with those effective methods, there are also more direct and immediate ways to actively listen.  After you've completed a project or delivered your product, why not just pick up the phone and call? Ask for their impressions.  Find out if you surprised them in any way (good or bad) and what they expected the experience or product usage to be like. 

Imagine how you would feel if you received that kind of call.  Appreciated?  Special? Is that the kind of call you're likely to talk about?  You bet.

A word of caution.  Do not try to sell anything during this call.  This is about listening, remember? 

If you commit to listening more, you will glean insights that change the way you do business and you'll see a spike in sales as a result.  Guaranteed.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]