How to Become a Better Listener for Customer Research. (Plus a Free Download!)

So you’re ready to incorporate listening into your marketing plan, and do some in-person customer research to gain insight into how they think and feel. But there’s one thing standing in your way: you aren’t the best listener.

It’s okay to admit it. We’re all friends here and have had our moments of being less than stellar at receiving information. Like during that morning coffee run with your girlfriend where she incessantly talks about how she’s totally vegan but can’t wait to try that new sushi place downtown.

You’re well-intentioned. You really want to be all-in and focused on what the person in front of you is saying but you find yourself zoning out.

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Tiffany Clarke Harrison
Listening: Your Marketing Plan's Unsung Heroine

Listening: we all know we should be better at it yet most of us forget a person’s name 10 seconds after meeting them.

It’s the truth. A few days ago while waiting to conduct an interview I was introduced to the interviewee’s assistant and had to ask her name. Twice. Not because it was hard to pronounce (her first and last name actually rhymed), or because I’m awful and self-absorbed, but because while I heard her, I was in my own head at the moment and wasn’t listening.

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I am standing in front of a 4ft glass phallus that sits on a white, block pedestal in the center of the room.  

I am in a garage or a warehouse in Lawrence, Kansas, somewhere near the Kansas University campus.  It is high-ceilinged and industrial with exposed pipes and reclaimed, paint-splattered wood. Blades spin inside the chrome cages of commercial fans, shoving the thick heat through the sparsely attended event. 

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