You Don’t Need Concrete Ears To Listen Effectively


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Concrete Ears
Concrete Ears
Creative Commons License photo credit: peter pearson

To really understand your market and get to know what pain your favorite customers are suffering and what their concerns are, you need to be actively engaged in conversations with them. Conversation has two sides to it – talking and listening and the latter is what allows us to gain information. The difference between hearing and listening should not be confused. Listening is a skill while hearing is a physical ability. Listening skills allow us to make sense of and understand what your customer is saying. In other words, listening skills allow you to understand what the customer is “talking about”.

Here are 12 effective listening techniques so you won’t need concrete ears.

Ask open-ended questions to get the customer to open up
Face the one you are listening to, lean slightly forward and make eye contact.
Let your body language show your interest and concern.
Listen carefully so you can understand and evaluate.
Learn to read between the lines by listening to both verbal and nonverbal messages.
Come prepared mentally and physically to listen. Don’t think of answers in advance.
You can’t talk and listen at the same time.
Be empathetic. See the situation from the customer’s viewpoint. Walk in their shoes.
Don’t interrupt and take notes if you’re worried about forgetting a particular point.
Avoid setting expectations as this prejudices your opinions.
Listen to what is said and how it is said and listen for what is left unsaid.
Don’t let one person dominate a multiple-customer conversation.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jim Smith
YCHANGE International
Jim Smith mentors entrepreneurial start-ups and counsels small to mid sized companies that are looking to expand or are under performing or under capitalized.


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