If you watch TV, chances are you’ve noticed that the fine folks at Sprint are digging hard at their competition, Verizon. That’s because their most recent ads all feature an actor named Paul Marcarelli, most famously known as Verizon’s “Can you hear me now?” guy. Marcarelli now shows up in Sprint’s commercials extolling the virtues of his new company’s network, plans and pricing.
And the point of Sprint’s new ads?
Verizon is no longer listening to the cellular customer. But Sprint is.
It’s a great bit of marketing, but it underscores a much larger point for business owners: listening is key. If you’re not listening to your clients and customers, you are in trouble. Big time. Are you truly listening to your clients or waiting for your chance to speak?
That’s because your clients and customers are constantly offering you information and data that can make what you do even better. Creativity, insight, and vision don’t just come from the back of your mind; they are present in the very words that your clients want to offer you. For free.
That’s why Bed Head Media uses every opportunity to communicate with and involve our client – seeking approval and full agreement to stay on budget and on target with the perfect video solution. In every project, we listen to our client attentively. We can’t provide a solution for someone if we don’t clearly hear what they want.
So how do we listen?
First, we ask for input. Then we shut up and take notes.
Second, we review what the client said against what we were thinking. We look for gaps and how to bridge them with the client’s input.
Third, we apply what we learned.
And fourth, we repeat the process as often as we need to.
Sometimes we learn that our way is the best way, but by listening to the client we come away with a better feeling of how to explain our vision. Other times we learn that the client has a better idea that improves flow or reduces cost and makes us a better company in the end. Even if we come away with no great insights, we’ve gained respect from our client by simply hearing them out.
We can’t provide a solution for someone if we don’t clearly hear what they want.
After all, if everyone wants to know if you can hear them now, it only makes sense to listen.