If you’d like to increase sales, listen up.
In fact, this is the first lesson in my short series “Turbo-charge Up Your Business,” — listening.
We’ve all heard the old saying, “God gave you one mouth and two ears… so you should listen twice as much as talk!” There is so much truth to this. Every business, no matter if you’re selling cars, technology services or copy machines, first needs to learn how to listen. You can find out so much by this very simple act.
In marketing, one of the biggest challenges is to not sound too “sales-y” when creating your marketing collateral. I’ve had clients who don’t like overly-hyped copy. You want to avoid the “hard sell” when developing content for your website, blog, or Facebook page.
It’s important to remember that no one likes be sold to, but everyone wants to learn something valuable. Your buyer is looking for solutions.
What you do want to do is tap into your buyer’s frustrations and joys.
How do you do this?
Here are a few simple ways to build a marketing strategy by using listening skills within your business:
Make it easy for your staff to capture the information.
Station plenty of small notebooks and pens around the cash registers, help desks, computer stations—anywhere you and your staff interact with prospects, clients and customers. Tell your employees to ask questions such as:
- Is this your first time buying from us?
- Why did you choose us?
- What did you like about the product or service?
- What do you wish were different about the product or service?
- Would you recommend us to a friend or family member?
It doesn’t take long to jot down a few notes when time permits. Train your people to constantly listen to your customers so they can learn what they want. It’s amazing what people will tell you once they see they’ve got your attention.
Create a centralized area for this information.
Capturing information is just the first step. Now you need to collect it somewhere so it can be analyzed. Basecamp is an online collaboration and project planning program. It has several pricing tiers but you can also take advantage of some free online collaboration tools such as Google Docs or Zoho.
This is very important for your marketing strategy. Information abounds, but if you don’t record that information in one convenient spot, you’ll find trouble accessing it for future use.
If it’s not easy to access, it likely won’t be used for planning your next step. You’ll constantly have employees asking you where the information is stored. Make it simple for everyone so that the information that has been carefully collected will be used.
Analyze the data you’ve collected and brainstorm ways you can use it.
Set aside one day at the end of the month to review your data. This step is what I consider the most crucial.
Many businesses that spend huge amounts of resources collecting data rarely analyze it and make good use of it.
When examining the data, look for patterns. Is there a particular service your clients and customers love? Is there a price point that seems to resonate with them better than others? Do your website visitors love the free resources? Which ones do they download the most?
Use this information to promote your business in new ways and attract even more fans.
Listening is one of the best things you can do to market your business. Ask questions. Engage your customers in conversations that will reveal what they want.
And then, create a marketing tactic that will leverage all that good customer happiness into a winning promotion they’ll gladly share with others. It all comes together from a decision to listen.