This morning I made a “presentation” to the marketing department of a medium size firm. Their business has slowed down and they were looking for ways to revitalize their existing customer base and add new ones. A vice president of the firm set up the meeting and was present for my “presentation”.
I introduced myself to the group and re-stated the purpose of our meeting. I encouraged them to stop me and ask questions during my presentation. About three minutes into my presentation the marketing director interrupted me and spoke for the next half hour saying that their target market is not receptive to anything she had tried and she knows everything there is to know about marketing.
When she finished her “talk”, all the people in the room including the vice president who set up the meeting nodded in agreement with her statement. To sum up, she said that there was absolutely no way to really get their target market involved in anything that would cause them to use their services; other than what they have been doing. Yes, I thanked them for their time and left.
The art of listening is one of the most powerful marketing tools that any business owner can use. This business is in dire need of taking a course in effective listening. One thing they should have noticed was that their marketing director was afraid of losing her job.
When you set aside time to listen to someone make good use of it. Consider the following:
- Hear the message: Time is a valuable commodity. If you commit your time to listen, then:
- Pay attention
- Select what is important and make notes
- Use your eyes to gather non-verbal messages (body language).
- Interpret the message:
- That requires a mutual understanding between you and the speaker, as to the message that is being delivered.
- Evaluate the message:
- Make sure that you have all the key information and have given the information received enough thought before reaching a conclusion.
- Good listening does not mean automatic compliance. Weigh and analyze all the information before reaching a final decision; ask questions as needed.
- Respond to the message:
- Tell the speaker that the message was heard and understood.
- Share your evaluation of the message
- Share your action decision and the reasons behind it.
Listening requires giving up our favorite human pastime — involvement in ourselves and our own self-interest. Sonya Hamlin
Nick J. Petra CFP Call for an appointment and listen to all we can do to help you achieve profitability.