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.
Hearing is what happens simply because you exist and aren’t deaf. It’s a passive act that requires little to no effort.
Listening is active. It asks you to get out of your own head and into someone else’s. Listening isn’t about you, it’s about the other person.
It also takes time. You know, that thing you have so little of because you’re busy building a life and a business and a brand people trust and adore.
Your attention is pulled in about a million and a half directions at once, no wonder you can’t remember someone’s name or that you agreed to drop off instead of pick up your kid today. So much of your effort is put into multi-tasking and “the hustle”, there isn’t much left for pausing and engaging on a deeper level.
Except here’s the thing no one tells you about attracting/keeping your ideal clients and marketing to them in a way they can relate to:
If you want to be a good marketer, you’ll want to be a good listener first.
Because to keep the clients and customers you want to work with most, you’ll want to get into their lives, understand who they are at their core and what motivates them to act. But if you don’t take the time to talk and listen to them, how will you know what they want from you most?
How will you know if they are even remotely interested in that product or service you’re considering? Or if that webinar or blog series is worth their (and, ultimately, your) time? You won’t until you ask them.
When they answer, do more than wait for your turn to talk. Keep your focus on them and what their experiences are. Figure out how you can help later, but in that moment, do your business a favor and really listen to what they have to say. Study their mannerisms, when their voice jumps an octave or when they feel the most relaxed.
At the other end of all of your sales, blog comments, and social media likes are people. And people want to feel like they matter.
Listening to them is the best way to start.
Ready to talk to clients and customers, and create content they can’t wait to consume? Download your free pdf The Interviews Handbook: How to Create Content Your Audience Actually Wants