When someone says something to you, do you listen? I don’t mean do the words pass through your hearing canal, but do you listen to them? Do you allow the words to enter your brain and form a clear vision of what is being said to you? If you haven’t put this much thought into this, then there is a very good chance you aren’t listening to the things people are saying and losing out on countless opportunities to make quality connections.
If you don’t listen to your customer you won’t be able to react accurately. For example, if you have a smile pasted on your face as you write a credit application thinking it will make you look friendly, but your customer is talking about a terrible event in his/her life that landed them in the credit situation that they are in, how does this make you look?
If you aren’t listening, then you aren’t hearing, if you aren’t hearing, the you run the risk of missing some very important information that a customer could give you.
I was in a bookstore last week looking for a new e-Reader. I was prepared to drop whatever amount of money I needed to to have a high quality reader that would enable me to store loads of books but was easy on the eyes. I went to the service counter and explained to the sales rep that I’m a digital media specialist and I spend all day looking at a computer so I wasn’t looking for something with app download ability. I get enough Facebook and Twitter all day.
She then showed me the Kindle Fire.
If you’re not familiar, the Kindle Fire is basically an iPad for books. You can have apps, and it’s in color.
Did she listen to me? Was this a joke? I know she was probably trying to upsell me. She wanted more bang for my buck.
I walked over to another sales person. I ended up getting a modest e-Reader for $99 but $200 worth of download credits for myself and grandmother.
Same money spent that the sales person was trying to get me to spend – just spread out on things that I wanted.
I was the customer.
This made me think about myself in sales situations. When someone sends me an e-mail asking for information about one thing, do I try and slip a sales pitch in?
But am I sure to answer all of their questions first? Absolutely.
You don’t have to guess what your customer wants. They’ll tell you. It’s up to you to listen.