listen to customers

One of the most important rules of sales is to listen to your customers. As a sales person if you are doing all of the talking, your customer is probably going to fall asleep on the other end of the phone. The same is true when giving presentations, you have to make it entertaining if not interactive so you can keep the audiences attention. You want your customers attention, you want them to be engaged with you wherever they are in the process.

Anthropologist’s View on Listening

Recently, Chris Bailey published a post called Listening to What Isn’t Said. Chris is an anthropologist who works in customer experience design and his post is definitely worth reading. [tweetmeme source= “insideview” only_single=false]

In his post, he gives us five simple ways to listen to what is not said.

  • Shut Up
  • Be Naive
  • Get Curious
  • Show Me
  • Record It

But listening to your customers on the phone or in person is only part of the conversation you should pay attention to. A sales person should be listening to everything around your customer as well as their company and there are a few ways to do this.

Set up your InsideView Watchlists. Why go searching for trigger events and news about your customers when you can get a custom email sent to you every day. This is a pretty comprehensive list of news around the companies you are tracking covering leadership changes, acquisitions, lawsuits, and executives that show up in the news.

Another practice you should follow for you customers is to setup a search specific to them on social media networks. Does their company have a Twitter profile? Big announcements and other company news will be shared through the corporate Twitter profile that you might want to be aware of. You can always go the next step and follow your cusotmers personal Twitter feeds also. You can do this by setting up a list in Twitter and making it private if needed so you can see what the people from inside the company are saying. Sometimes this is a great way to get introduced to others in the company or see what you contact is interested in outside of work. InsideView has a list specific for employees that anyone can follow or read.

Paying attention to your customers and listening to them on and offline can give you better insights to what matters most to them and gives you multiple ways to engage with them and build stronger relationships.

How are you listening to your customers? What tools or applications do you recommended?