The greatest marketers have this one trait in common.
Too often, we think that the best way to share our message is to talk louder and more passionately. The common phrase often heard is "control the narrative". But do healthy human relationships flourish where one person 'controls the narrative'?The best relationships I’ve ever seen come down to one simple idea: the ability to listen. Truly listen. The greatest marketers have this one trait in common: the ability to truly listen to their audience.
They don’t just hear what people are saying, they understand it. They take the time to get to know their audience, and they figure out what makes them tick. They learn what matters to them, and how best to serve them.
And that’s why they’re so successful. They don’t just talk at their audience, they talk with them. They build relationships of trust, and they serve their audience in the best way possible.
What does good listening look like as a marketer? Here are three things I believe are essential in listening to your clients and their audiences.
1. Active listening
Active listening is the key to good communication, both in personal relationships and in business. It’s about understanding the other person, not just hearing them. In order to do this, you need to be completely present and engaged in the conversation.
2. Take the time to understand
Too often, we hear something and immediately start formulating a response. We think about what we want to say, instead of trying to understand what the other person is saying. But good listeners don’t do that. They take the time to understand the other person, to see things from their perspective even if it may differ from your own.
3. Respond with empathy
When you respond to someone, do so with empathy. Put yourself in their shoes, and try to understand how they feel. Don’t just react to what they’ve said, but rather build on it and add to the conversation.
Good listening is essential for any business, but especially for marketers. Once you have listened and heard then you can build the appropriate strategy to fulfill what the customer needs. It is so easy to get lost in all of the content that bombards us daily, but taking the time to LISTEN will help cut through the noise and focus on what is important!
Lastly, don’t forget that you’re a human being. Really. This is essential in order to integrate a listening posture into your marketing process. Too many marketers turn on this frozen, professional façade when they go to work. Great brands that excel at marketing — even “serious” and “formal” brands — know how to lighten up and be authentic.
So, what do you think? What are some other essential skills for marketers? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.