Business Tips

Listening For Success In Your Business

Watch the original video HERE.

This week I commented on a tweet put out by the amazing May King Tsang (Instagram @maykingtea) a great friend of Business In Bare Feet. She made a tweet about Market Research which I wholeheartedly agreed with that taking time to do proper market research will put you in a position to properly understand what your customer wants.

So why in our businesses do we get the listening part so wrong?

Why do we miss those opportunities to truly listen to understand the world around us? Or our business?

Market research is really a way a business listens, to its own, to its clients, the marketplace.

The reality is a human condition, we are wired to hear what we want to hear, what our belief systems might tell us, what we think is right, how we see our world and filter the information entering and leaving it… need I go on, I am sure you get it.

But what to do?

So lets talk about listening today.

Being Surprised By Engineers…

Last in our weekly fireside chat with David and Mihajlo from @freshagtech there was one part of the conversation that really blew me away… they learned that they were not listening to their market properly and needed to change to survive.

No mean feat for a bunch of engineers!

Rather than seeing dollars in the bank, businesses to sell to and a product to move they discovered on the other end of their business and offering was a customer, a real life human being. And to make it even more difficult for these young entrepreneurs, they were die hard farmers, family oriented, tech deprived simple folk who valued.

Our young entrepreneurs had to change tack – and that’s exactly what they did

So Who Should We Listen To?

  • Ourselves
  • The team around us
  • Of course our customers
  • Our Competitors (The Market)
  • The World In General

So What Does It Take To Listen Well?

  • Firstly a desire to listen… openness – if you are not open to what you are hearing then whats the point?
  • Secondly the right set of ears… what are we listening with? Our ears hear things but we still don’t listen well. Can we hear what we need to hear?
  • An understanding of the filters that bind us… tied in above we all have filters and fears that stop us from truly listening well. What are they for your business?
  • The ability to unbiasedly ask great questions… ah my favorite. Ask the questions you need answers for not the ones you want to hear. You need unbiased and open data that really gives you what you need to grow. Remember this is about growth and success so you sometimes need to hear the bad stuff.
  • The right people to talk to… to prove my point here check out a book The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick. We need to be talking to the right people with the right tools to get the right information.

Know that a culture of listening naturally creates trust and loyalty – your customer, investor or team member will be loyal to you because they feel heard, and listened to.

A Parting Note About Market Research

I always advise my clients that market research is not just a place to gather information but in a posture of listening it can be a great time to market your brand and product.

Market research, like any listening, is not an event but a journey. We need to create a culture of listening, constant feedback in our business so we can gather real data, respond correctly and make next best steps.

Even if we don’t like what we are hearing!

Enjoy The Journey

Jonathan Brake 

Ps. you can watch the live video HERE

Note this article originally appeared on Linked IN.

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