Listening. That’s a human act we need not only in life in general but also in business. Researches have shown that one of the reasons why great companies thrive over their competition is that they “listen” to their customers. Listening goes beyond hearing. Good listeners do not just perceive sounds but look for more when they hear something. They take actions based on the information they get, and from there, they arrive at a good business direction.

How does effective listening work? How do we listen to our customers and make the most out of it? Here are five steps to knowing the lifeblood of your business and using them to your advantage:

  1. Know how your customers behave. You know your customers, right? For sure you have experienced being with one of their kind. Put yourself in their shoes. What problems do they have and how do they solve them? What do they say about your product? Knowing these important things allows you to develop new strategies and plans to keep your business growing.
  2. Identify what motivates them. We all have needs we want to address, and these needs drive or motivate us to work hard and get those needs to survive. Uncover these drivers in your customers and see how your products or services can satisfy them.
  3. Attract them. Now that you know what they need, think of something that resonates with your target market. Remember, a picture paints a thousand words, so create appealing images that best represent your business.
  4. Relate with them. If your customers have different cultural backgrounds, then you have to listen to each of their stories. Listening to their narratives will help you craft messages that relate to and fit their culture.
  5. Anticipate their response. With a plan developed and customized to your market’s preferences, project their response to your new strategies. That way, you can create measures that you can use to see if it effectively works.

Listening is an essential human action that we all should master. If you are in the intricate world of business, the demand for it is even higher because you cannot be sure of your customers’ thoughts and actions. But if you invest time in knowing who they are and analyzing their needs and wants, you’ll never go wrong.

Simply put, think of your customers first… all the time!

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Joven has been working in the virtual assistant industry for almost 5 years. Currently, he serves as a Supervisor at Xilium. Follow him on Google+.
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