Listening is not the forte of humans. This might be our innate nature, but you have to admit that it is bad for marketing.
Not listening is not our fault. We can gladly pass the blame on to science. According to the science of listening, your brain remains inactive about 75% of the time when someone is saying something to you.
We can also blame social media for our poor listening capacities. Social media has a strange hunger for noise. Every marketer has been taught to create noise on social media platforms. Social media even gives rewards to managers who create maximum noise. This is why it is especially tough for social media managers to stop and listen to the clients.
Listening Is Not Awarded
Our society is also to blame for these poor listening skills. If you are asked to name a few famous people, you will invariably choose the ones who are great orators. Forget the famous people. Does your own boss listen to your problems carefully? This is not about remaining quite. This about listening truly and taking actions based on that. Have you ever thought why that is?
This is because our society doesn’t give rewards to people who listen. Contrarily, every one of us has been taught to become a good speaker all of our lives. As the basic urge of most people is being understood, listening to others becomes not that necessary.
This is the barrier that you should break to become a successful marketer. Touting the advice is easy, but practicing it in real life is not. This is why we have gathered some good methods which can help you to become a good listener.
Ask Better Questions
Asking questions is a good way to get engaged in any conversation. However, arbitrary questions will not help you to become a better listener or a skilled marketer. You have to ask the right questions to get helpful answers from the clients. One of the easiest questions to ask the clients is ‘why’. This simple and small word is the most powerful tool a marketer can have in his/her arsenal.
This question helps you to understand the intent of the customers better. Depending on such simple questions, you will be able to get into the nitty-gritty of the client’s business. It does not mean that you should ask ‘why’ robotically to the customers in every meeting. Take a real interest in whatever the client is saying, and you will notice that questions are generating automatically.
Overcoming the embarrassment to ask the questions is another issue that you should work on. Don’t be ashamed to ask difficult questions to the clients. The questions will help you to get the right idea about their demands. Once you know their demands, you can plan the marketing strategy accordingly.
Listening will not only help you to become a better marketing manager, but it will also help you to climb the stairs of success.
Be Empathetically Curious
Most people think business is a cold and hard thing to do. They can’t be more wrong. Business is one of the best places where you can use the power of empathy. It takes time and effort to build this ability, but once it’s there, it will help you to communicate with other people fairly easily.
Communication is the crux of any business. So, it is not surprising that better communicators can create a better business.
If you are not able to connect with other people, you will find it difficult to make your business successful. This, as a marketing manager, you don’t want. So, try to become more empathetic to the clients the next time you attend a business meeting.
As empathy and curiosity go hand in hand, you will become more curious while practicing to be more empathetic. You will try to understand what the customers are thinking at the time of making a demand. Empathetic curiosity is another important asset of listening that can help you to become a better marketer.
Take Margin Notes
Most people have a good habit of taking notes at the time of any meeting. The notes make it easier to retain and remember the topics that were discussed. However, if your notes do not help you to understand the needs of the clients, then it is as good as nothing.
There’s a remedy to this problem as well. Write margin notes. Whenever you are attending a meeting, divide the page into two halves. Keep one half for taking notes on the subject being said and write your own ideas and comments on the margin of that note.
This technique will help you to remember the ideas that struck you during the meeting. It will also help you to articulate the ideas at the time of interview. You don’t have to share all the things that you have written, just the relevant ones will do nicely.
Recap What You Have Listened
The human mind is by nature restless, and so, it wanders off at the time of meetings. To avoid this problem, researchers have suggested remembering the things that you have learned during a meeting. Note the main points that the client is suggesting. Once they are done, restate all the points to them.
This habit will help you to check whether you have understood the points of the customers perfectly. Apart from this, this technique will also help you to retain information better. It will satisfy your customers as they will understand that you are giving them due importance.
Even though this article tells you the ways to listen better, you should do more than that. In the age of internet and social media, all our body language detecting skills have gone awry. But, whenever we speak, we use our bodies as well as the voice. A small twitch of the eyebrow can convey a lot more meaning than what is being said. So, make you well versed in deciphering body language to become a slaying marketing manager