Did You Hear What They Said? 3 Tips to Make Sure…

By Sandy Reed

It’s no secret that the world is full of diverse and unique beings. My husband, who is left handed, never fails to amaze me in his method of solving problems. Since I’m right handed, we always go through two different thought processes to reach the same conclusion. He, of course, loves to remind me that he is in his “right mind”.

Not only do we think differently, we hear differently. People tend to hear other people based on their perceptions and what they have lived through. What we hear is what we expect to hear much of the time. Sometimes the customers we’re talking to aren’t telling us the whole story, so it’s even harder to get a clear picture of how we can best serve them.

Our range of understanding and our ability to serve our clients expands with deeper more intuitive hearing. As we listen closer and repeat what we believe we are hearing, it gives our customers a clearer understanding of how their needs are received by us. Many times there is a disconnect between what our customers want and what they are communicating to us.

In our construction business, we recently had a long-time customer come to us because he wanted to replace his unsafe deck, and build a new garage. After talking to him over a period of time, we discovered that what he really wanted was to make his vacation home more livable, so he and his wife could potentially retire there someday.

After much more talking and fact finding with him and his wife, it became obvious to him, and us, that his wife didn’t like the house and did not see it as a potential full-time home. In light of this discovery, he is now rethinking the project and is considering selling the house and buying a newer home they would both enjoy more.

Taking the time to intuitively “hear” your customers will allow you to give a deeper level of service that many service professionals don’t take the time to deliver.

Here are 3 tips you can use to learn to hear intuitively.

  • If your customer has a significant other, and your
    product or service will be used by both, request that they
    both be present during the initial consultation. This will
    give you the opportunity to see the reactions of both
    customers and observe the body language, tone of voice, and
    level of interest in what you have to offer.
  • Repeat back to them your interpretation of the
    conversation for clarification. You will be surprised at
    how often you did not hear what they were really saying.
  • Provide a detailed description of the product or service
    you discussed in your written proposal or order
    confirmation. This will avoid misunderstandings at a later

All the efforts you make to actively listen, intuitively hear and confirm what you heard from your customers will set you apart from the competition, and new customer referrals will surely follow.

About the Author Mikel Erdman

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