By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 05/29/2020
Published in 
American Printer

“It’s critical to hear not just what was said…but importantly….what was almost said…”  ….Peter Drucker, Writer, Professor, Consultant

INTRODUCTION:

Some organizations are moving forward….with increasing purpose…..some…. not so much.

Some organizations realize….deeply…. that…. they have no reason to exist….if they can not improve their customer’s….. economic performance…..!

Some organizations recognize that their listening skills….are never “too good”….and…..their ability to listen…. and hear (there is a difference)… what is said…and… almost said…….”can unlock THE difference”…. in what develops…and happens next.

Recently we suggested to a client…. that because he was not getting results that he wanted… needed….and believed were available….that he elevate his…. Customer Contact Team’s Accountability (many of whom…are “working from home”).

Specifically:

  1. Have his Director of Business Development… conduct a daily… “Late-afternoon Check-up”…. with everyone who’s making contact (verbal or email) — with customers and prospects.
  2. “Meticulous Notes” – should be taken from discussions….by the Director of Business Development — for follow-up purposes.
  3. Everyone should be on the Call — at the same time — to listen…learn….and ask thoughtful, constructive questions. (And…everyone should know what Questions to prepare for…)
  4. Beginning Questions to ask:
  1. Who did you make contact with today…. talk with today (not, “Who did you leave a voicemail with?”)?…..  What did you hear…?
  2. Who did you send emails to, and what were they about? Results…?
  3. What’s happening in their companies…?
  4. What are they wanting…. and needing to happen…?
  5. What opportunities….were you able to develop…?
  6. What Quote and Proposal opportunities…. were developed…?
  7. Do you need any “Quote Letter” or “Negotiating” support…for presenting why…. we should produce that project….(not just specs and a price)….?
  8. Any Projects won today….promised to us…..when….?
  9. Any opportunities for Referrals…?
  10. What’s your follow-up…. with each organization you contacted….?
  11. Are you sending….. “Thank You Notes” — “Notes of Appreciation”….for the opportunities they provided us….?
  12. Who do you have planned to contact — tomorrow…?

To the group, after each “Check-In”…ask, “Did anyone hear anything that caused you to ask yourself a Question…?”

“Numbers” should be totaled every day, and every week…..and charted.

SUMMARY:

listening - Sid ChadwickOur capacity and skills at “Listening”….can almost always be improved….yet….we seldom train for improving those skills.

Our capacity and skills at… Listening….often….determine what happens next…..what is accomplished.

Our inability to wait….to Listen…before speaking….too often hamper our ability to move forward….which we sometimes see in others….but seldom see in ourselves.

Toastmasters International….most likely has several Toastmaster Clubs…within 10 miles of your office, plant….or home. They can be reached at 720-439-5050.  They are committed to improving individuals skills at thinking…..speaking…and listening.

This week’s Column….. is a call to action…….to improve our professional competence….our Service…. to our customers….and… our organization….!

“In the midst of the storms of change that engulf us….we must decide…” …….Joan Chittister, The Time Is Now

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