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Marketing Is Hearing What Your Customers Say

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Good marketing means careful listening. Great listeners, who hear what their customers say, make more sales. All too often we hear sales and marketing professionals talking about giving the perfect sales presentation.

The dream is to make just that right pitch where the prospect turns into a buyer without a single objection.

Like many dreams, the sales talk dream isn’t likely true either.

In fact, more sales and marketing benefit can be achieved by listening than by talking. More customers can be added to your business, simply by becoming a better listener.

Hearing what your prospects have to say, and then helping them solve their problems, will not only make the sale this time. It will often keep a customer for your business for a lifetime.

I’ll bet you’re listening now.

Let the customers speak

One potential problem, lurking stealthily in every business office, is the concept of believing the business management knows best. Unfortunately, while the executives and owners might take that idea as an article of faith, the buying public might not be so reverent.

Today’s customers expect to be heard, and their needs and desires met. If not, they will quickly move to another supplier. A business ignores their customers at their own peril.

When designing new products, it’s a good idea to survey existing and prospective customers for their opinions. Find out what is good about your product line, and what is missing, will assist in the design of new product lines, and improving existing ones.

Moving beyond the standard focus groups, often required to choose between only company pre-ordained options, is simply good business. Many of the best product ideas will arrive from conversations with customers.

Don’t sweep customer complaints under the rug. While it’s true that not all complaints are reasonable or well founded, the majority of cases are sending your business a clear message.

They may be saying your products, services, customer care, or online or offline premises are not meeting their needs. Failure to listen to customers means loss of business revenue.

Help sales and marketing staff to hear from customers

All too often sales staff are sent out find buyers for products and services, armed only with a script and some hazy product knowledge. Well down the list of requirements are satisfied customers. After all, the products need to be sold, and the sales representatives need to sell; or face unemployment.

Training your sales staff, to listen to the needs and wishes of the customers, will not only help them keep their jobs. It will also enhance your business bottom line.

When the sales pitch emphasises red widgets, and the customer is only concerned with whether the widget is oval and not round, sales will be few and far between. Sales staff talking about the colour of the widget, when the customer is concerned with the widget shape, will not make sales. Listening to the customers and their needs and desires, will boost sales dramatically.

That result is sure to your sales reps very happy.

A much better sales presentation than a standard canned speech is a series of open ended questions, with each one finding out more about the prospect and her requirements. Stopping the talking for a moment, and listening to the prospect will help to fulfil those needs.

Listen to the silence, and let the customer express their needs and requirements.

The overall sales totals will rise in harmony.

Listening to prospects, as well as current customers, helps a business hear the cash register ringing up the sales.

Wayne Hurlbert provides insigtful information about marketing, promotions, search engine optimization and public relations for websites and business blogs on the popular Blog Business World.

Check out Blog Business World for yourself.

Marketing Is Hearing What Your Customers Say
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