In business, your listening skills are critical to your success. If you are not able to listen to what your target audience wants and needs, it will be impossible for you to give it to them. If you can't give it to them, you can't get them to buy what you eventually want to sell to them.
The power behind social media
In the past, you reached out to your target audience members but you were never really quite sure that they were listening (or heard) what you were trying to tell them. When it comes to traditional marketing, you put the message out there and then you hope for the best. That was then. Of course, as an astute business person, you probably never abandoned traditional marketing because you understand clearly that it is a necessary type of marketing in order for your business to succeed.
However, your marketing efforts probably work most effectively if you use traditional marketing methods as well as online marketing methods (which include social media of various types) in tandem.
When it comes to your listening skills, there is probably no skill that is more important than that one. In many cases, being able to listen is much more important (at least, initially) than speaking. When you first start communicating with the other person, before you can make any progress at all, you need to wrap your mind around the needs of the other person. After you have done that, the next thing that you will need to do is to come up with some sort of plan to solve the other person's problem(s). You must be driven by the marketing concept of "WIIFM" (What's In It For Me?").
No matter how amazing you and your business are, if you are not able to satisfy the needs and wants of the other person, you are finished before you have even had a chance to begin. The truth is that there is a great deal that goes into a relationship between two people.
If the relationship is solid enough, those two people will understand how each one is feeling and, hopefully, that connection between them will be enduring and mutually beneficial. After all, the success that you enjoy through social media can only work if the relationship, which is at the heart of it, is strong.
The many different ways to listen
When it comes to building a relationship with another person that eventually has selling something as its goal, whether you relate to the other person online or in person, the human/emotional part is the same in both situations. When a person is at the point at which he or she is ready to buy something, there has been so much that has come before that point. Trust must have been built and credibility must have been established before that point.
You must also have successfully positioned yourself as not only a subject matter expert but as the expert in your niche. What you want is for the other person to think about you before any other business owner when it comes time to buy what you are selling. The needs of the other person may seem like they differ with each person; however, one of the basic needs that pretty much everyone has in common is that there must be a human/emotional connection between you and the other person and your story must resonate with that person.
With all of that being said; however, it is important to realize that there will be some differences in the way that you listen online versus the way that you listen face to face (or even on the phone, Skype, etc). The fact is that all relationships take work.
Just because you don't see the other person (it may be the case that you will never see the person face to face because of geographic limitations or some other limitations that prevent you from ever meeting in person) doesn't mean that you don't have to put forth just as much effort to grow the relationship and to make sure that it flourishes. In fact, you may have to work even harder to make your online relationship work because you are not able to read the body language of the other person so you have an added challenge there.
Face the challenge calmly
If you are not used to building and maintaining online relationships, you may feel that they are difficult to keep going. However, you will probably have to adjust your approach a little but you can still definitely make it work. It is important to remember that you should always be honest, genuine, and respectful toward the other person. You would probably demonstrate those qualities anyway so the relationship will probably flourish from the beginning.
When it comes to engaging the other person, you will want to make a great deal of effort to get involved and stay involved in discussions. Don't hesitate. Just jump right in. In that situation, you don't want to just listen. You need to get involved. People want to hear what you have to say and they want you to ask them for their opinions as well. That is one of the many very important ways that you will build a relationship with the other person. It is all about engagement.
Social media is an extremely powerful tool and if you are not leveraging it right now, it is time that you start to leverage it. When it comes to listening, you should listen to the entire message that the other person is trying to give you. If you concentrate on what the other person is trying to convey, you will be a more valuable asset to that person and he or she will feel that you are the only person with whom he or she wishes to do business. If you don't listen to the other person, you will not be able to grasp what the person truly wants. You need to allow social media to help you to bring your business to the next level and beyond.
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