Each month we take a value from our company values and explore it a bit further. This month we're taking one of our core values - "Listen intently" and pulling it apart to find out what it really means to us.
Exporta Global Value of the Month - Listen Intently
Understanding our customers' needs is core to our business, as without this, we cannot possibly deliver the best work. So don't just hear people, listen intently and try to understand them. Doing so will strengthen both our relationships and services.
As a company that prides itself on delivering the very highest of standards of customer service, we would not have customers with us for more than 10 years without listening to them.
Without opening our ears and digesting the information they impart, and sometimes the information they don't, we would not have been able to be flexible enough and innovative enought to provide the right solutions for them.
Here's our tips for Listening Intently.
- Repeat it back
The more senses you use the more likely you are to remember something. When a client or prospect is speaking to you, repeat back to them what they've said at important points so they understand you've got the detail. It also imprints it in your mind using your own voice as well as your ears.
- Question, question and question again
Keep asking questions until you get to the crux of the matter. By doing this you can uncover the real reason behind decisions and delivery more appropriate solutions. Sometimes even surprising the client/prospect as to what the real reasons are themselves.
- Read between the lines
The hardest skill, but can lead to the biggest gains. What a client/prospect doesn't say can be just as, if not more, important than what they do. If you ask a very specific question and they avoid the answer then maybe there's more digging to do.
- Keep a record
Not everyone will be happy to have a conversation recorded so accurate written notes are a must if you're chatting to a client or prospect. If you're not the best, get an assistant to right things down. If that's not possible, take your laptop and tap away as you talk.