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Shut Up and Listen

Shut Up and Listen

June 20, 2013 @ 12:56 pm
by Vance Morris (Disney Guy)

2 ears and 1 mouth

What does that tell you?  Yep… Shut up and listen twice as much as you speak.    You will be amazed at what you can accomplish by listening more than you speak.  This is part 3 of the manifesto

According to Stephen Covey, there are 5 levels of listening (and I certainly hope your are not in the first 3 categories.  If you are in numbers 1-2, please leave NOW! If you are in #3, there may be hope for you):

  1. Ignoring (no idea what you just said).  Nothing can make you go out of business faster than ignoring your clients. It goes something like this: Client “Can you clean that spot?”  You with your back to the client: “No, I can’t get the cat out of the furnace”.
  2. Pretending (you think I’m listening).  I am looking at you, I see your lips moving, I hear sound, but I still don’t know or care what you said.  This is just as bad as ignoring someone or maybe even worse.  This is where I get in trouble with my wife some days…
  3. Selective Listening (I hear part of what you’re saying) “Yes ma’am, I see your spot, did you want me to do something about it?” 
  4. Attentive Listening (I’m paying full attention) Now most folks find themselves at this level of listening.  You hear what the other person is saying and you may even ask a follow up question and engage in conversation.  Client: “Can you clean that spot?”  You: Yes, ma’am I can clean that spot, do you know what caused it?”
  5. Empathic Listening (I fully understand & feel what you’re saying)  In the world of service and marketing, emphatic listeners have the highest level of client retention and acquisition.  They also have the highest profit levels.  They understand and feel what their clients wants, needs and desires are.  They know what keeps their clients awake at night.  Client: “Can you clean that spot?”  You: “Yes, ma’am, I can clean that spot.  I understand your desire for a perfect looking home. Your friends and neighbors will never know it was there.”  (And inside your head you are thinking; I know that you are worried about what your friends at the country club think).

The empathic level is the hardest, but this is the level most effective marketers function at. It’s about putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, and really feeling what the other person is going through. As Covey puts it, it’s getting “inside another person’s frame of reference.”

The same goes for managing your teams.  Listening to, understanding and feeling what your employees are going through is paramount to a successful business.

In Schwartz’s Ground Rules for effective Groups,  Listening to others is key to group dynamics.  Making statements and then inviting questions and comments about them means expressing one’s point of view (making sure to explain the reasons) and then asking others to respond, including whether they agree or disagree. For example, a group member might say, “I think it would help to give department heads their own budgets to work within, so that their accountability will be commensurate with their responsibility. But some of you may feel differently. I’d like to hear what each of you thinks about my idea, even if you disagree.”

Inviting others to comment on one’s statements encourages them to question and challenge the ideas and helps
focus discussion as a dialogue rather than a series of monologues. The resulting discussion enables the group
to determine the validity of the ideas and enables each member to make an informed choice. It may seem
counterproductive to encourage disagreement, yet reaching a decision to which all members will be committed
requires that members identify their disagreements and resolve them.

The Client Service | Customer Service  Marketing Manifesto™ 

Chesapeake Service & Marketing Solutions has the customer service training skills and direct response marketing strategies that can build or repair your lacking client or customer service experience, as well as create and teach direct response marketing strategies.

The Service Excellence Blueprint™, based on Vance’s 10 years in management at the Walt Disney Resort in Orlando, works with the core values of your company to develop a specific and unique customer service plan for your small business.

The Profit Implementation Blueprint™, affectionately known as the PIMP Blueprint, is a turnkey system of direct response marketing strategies, templates and examples that have been successful in Vance’s bricks and mortar businesses.

Remember, You Won’t Profit Unless You Implement

I am Vance Morris, Founder of DeliverServiceNow.com and Chesapeake Service and Marketing Solutions.  My core belief is that marketing and customer | client | guest service are inextricably connected.  I give you the blueprints, turn-key systems, strategies and tools to create a culture of service in your business that will dramatically improve your marketing ROI.

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