Thursday, August 6, 2015

Listening Skills; part 1

* Today we have the honor of featuring some very helpful lifeskills and business building skill tips from Donna J Thomas. The article was a bit longer than we normally publish so I have split it into two sections. Today is part 1... I'll publish the second half on August 9th

Can You Hear Me Now? 6 Ways to Listen to Clients

The primary purpose of any business is to make money. In fact, the definition of business is "exchanging goods or services for money." In most cases, revenue depends on customers or clients. The foundation for your successful enduring business is a long-term two-way relationship with your clients. 

To foster this crucial relationship, you need to do only 2 things:

(1) Listen for your clients' problem. What is their biggest need, pain or challenge that relates to your work?

(2) Solve their problem. Respond to their need and help them do, be, get or keep it.

Whether you attune to your clients' needs live or virtually, one-to-one or group, there are 6 simple guidelines for market research to help you listen in the right way for the right things:

1. Listen Selectively

Many health entrepreneurs listen to the wrong people, such as family or friends, and then let bad advice lead them astray. 

People whose business opinions matter fall into one of three categories:

(1) Prospective Ideal Clients

(2) People with knowledge or experience of your Ideal Clients

(3) People you pay for advice, such as a coach or mentor

Be cautious about listening to anyone outside these groups. Or listen, in order to learn or to rule out their opinions, but do not feel compelled to follow their advice!

2. Listen for Repeating Patterns

Look for patterns or trends in the words, phrases, ideas or suggestions from your target audience. You want your message to speak to the people with those needs. Don't be influenced by opinions that are irrelevant to your business. Don't allow any one negative or critical person or opinion to throw you off-track.

3. Listen for Specific Goals & Challenges

All business is about solving some kind of problem to which people are willing to pay for the solution! What solution do you offer that people are willing to pay for? 

If you want more Ideal Clients in your holistic health practice, listen for these 4 specific things:

(1) What's good and what's working. One person's success, result or breakthrough could inspire another!

(2) Their goals. What outcome do they want? You can't help them get there if you don't know where "there" is!

(3) Their problems, frustrations and challenges. What's getting in the way of achieving their goal or outcome? Where are they stuck?

(4) Their language. How do they describe their situation? If you "read between the lines," they will tell you exactly where they are, where they want to go and what's stopping them!

* Part 2 of this article will be published on August 9th.

Award-winning authors Dave and Lillian Brummet: 

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