StartUp Tip #21: Listen more than you speak


You get home at the end of the work day to find your wife [or partner] sitting on the couch unhappy.

The house is untidy and the kitchen is a mess with dirty dishes.

You start by doing the dishes and cooking her favorite dish.

When she realises what you are doing, she breaks down crying and rushes upstairs with tears rolling down her eyes.

Surprised at that you run after her.

When you get upstairs, she tells you that she has had a day at work and she wanted you to sit next to her and listen to her, instead you just get busy cleaning and doing the dishes, which is not what she wanted.

How unthoughtful of you!

You are bewildered because you thought you were helping in the house instead you made things worse.

This is how entrepreneurs approach their customers: instead of asking and listening to customers, entrepreneurs assume they know what customers want and then they go on a rampage by cold-calling, sending spam emails and picking on you at malls.

At networking events, entrepreneurs go on and on talking about their businesses without listening to what others want.

This approach is annoying to customers and as  result customers switch off.

Entrepreneurs adopt the narcissistic approach of saying I have solutions for you and I want you to buy my solutions.

Instead of adopting the humility approach of actually asking and listening to customers.

Listen with the intention to understand, not to sell, pitch or gain points.

Listen to what your customers really want instead of trying to figure out what they want.

It is when you listen more that you are able to understand better.

Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.

This means moving from pitching features and benefits to fact finding and solving problems for customers.

When I learned this insight, I quickly realised after changing my ways that solving problems for customer vs. assuming their needs exponentially increased consumer satisfaction.

Selling to people who actually want to hear from you is more effective than interrupting strangers who don’t.

To sell to people who actually want to hear from you means knowing what they want, which means asking and listening to them first to gain that insight.

I truly believe you are doing a dis-service to customers if you are not discovering their needs prior to proposing a product or solution.

From cold calling, emails or face to face sales, do yourself a favor spend some time and think about fact finding questions related to your product that you can ask your customers in order to better serve them.

You will not only benefit from an increase in sales and customer satisfaction, but you will also learn how to improve your products and or services based on the feedback you will receive.

If you don’t listen to your customers, someone else will.

Listen more than you speak.

Talk less, listen more, and do more.

Give your customers your eyes, ears, undivided attention and your heart.

This is true for business as it is for your personal life.


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