In marketing and advertising, many creative ideas never see the light of day because of weak presentations or poor selling skills. Managers dedicate time and money on training programs promising to improve a staff members’ sales and presentation techniques. The problem may, however, originate much earlier than the sales presentation. It may be rooted in a simple lack of listening.
Do we understand each other?
Perhaps the greatest key to selling or “winning the day” in a presentation lies in how well you listen first before speaking. As marketers, our task is to create meaningful, effective communications. To do this well, we first must understand. And that comes from investigating and listening.
The measure of marketing effectiveness begins with asking questions, probing for new understanding, proposing new ideas and making informed recommendations. In the process, smart marketers pause to listen — outwardly and between the lines. With focused listening, you often uncover details that weren’t self-evident or reveal nuances worth considering.
It’s all discovery.
Listening and being engaged in discovery presents opportunity to go to new places. Recall a moment when you felt listened to. How did that feel? What do you remember about the listener? Creative professionals who are good listeners watch, observe and imagine. They take in all they see, hear and experience and offer back fresh insights and ideas that fuel success. So, you might say that amazing execution is the end result of careful listening early on.
The resume networker.
In a conversation, are you more the listener or the talker? Have you ever met people while networking who quickly launched into reciting their resume? They seem less interested in you and more in their own greatness. Consider this: Next time you have two minutes while speed networking, use 30 seconds to state the facts relating to you, and then use the remaining time to ask, learn and listen to the person across from you. Don’t be so anxious to speak, shout or sing your own praises. Take time to investigate. Be a learner. Be sincere. Show desire to know more. You will create meaningful exchange and uncover opportunities to communicate with enthusiasm and renewed interest.
The value in listening.
Often the most compelling speakers or persuasive salesmen are NOT the blabbers. They are instead, the conductors of an exchange. They may remind you of a child who seems to always be asking why?, how? and how come? Ask the questions — and open your ears, mind, eyes and heart to the answers.
Listening and learning, done well, will improve the quality of your presentations, relationships and ultimate success rate. It brings greater relevance to messaging, depth to marketing graphics — and customers to your door.
StimulusBrand places great value in understanding your product and services and especially your target audience. We want to know what makes you the best? Why should people care? What are their motivations? What moves them to action? And more. Learn more at http:///www.stimulusbrand.com or call 609.538.1126. We’re ready to listen.
By: Tom Mc Manimon & Diane Blaszka