Listening with our ears and with our hearts and minds is crucial to building remarkable client relationships. Actually, I think it’s crucial to building any relationship.
We’ve probably all been in a situation where we realize the other person just doesn’t get what we’re saying.
Think about the last time you went shopping for a new dress or suit. Recently I was out looking for a dress to wear to a black tie event. At the first store no one even approached me. At the second store I explained the color and style that I was looking for; green or red and fitted. The clerk came back with grey! I left the store! Finally at the third store the clerk listened and I found a beautiful red and black cocktail dress that was perfect!
Hearing what are clients are saying takes not only our ears, but our hearts and minds too. If your clients are trying to explain the vacation of their dreams to you or the on-site meeting planner has come to you with a challenge here are a couple of tips to keep in mind:
- Listen for the underlying message. Good questions and a measure of patience will help uncover the full message
- questions that begin with “Tell me more about…” “Help me understand more clearly….” “How do you feel about…”
- At time emotions will take over and a bit of empathy is needed to provide a solution
- empathy may sound like “I can see that this is…, what can I do?”
- Other times the details can be overwhelming and it pays to take notes.
- Getting permission to take notes or letting the person know you’re going to take notes tells them that you are genuinely concerned.
What one thing can you do differently today that will genuinely show that you’re listening to your clients?