When you forget to actively listen in business what happens next?

Hi I have listened to some tips about blogging and realised I need to make them shorter. And that perhaps some structure would be helpful.

Let me know what you think of this format.


Can not actively listening and asking the wrong questions cost you business?

This is a sketch from the two Ronnies called “fork handles” . There is a Clean Language  question used in this sketch. Can you spot it?

Have you ever experienced asking for one thing and got another?

When that happens what happens to doing business again with this company/person?

What are the other factors that encourage you to do business again even when you are not listened too?

I believe that when we have an established relationship and rapport with the person we are more likely to forgive them and accept human error and therefore will do business again. I also believe that as the owner of the business we have to recognise it is our misunderstanding rather than taking the tone that the  customer was not listening and they were in fact the one who misunderstood.

Remember you are not doing the customer a favour by serving them, they are doing you the favour of allowing you to serve them.

What happens next if it is the first time you have done business with someone and they dont listen to you?

Let’s take the example of a couple in a restaurant, if they had great service they may tell a few people, if they had poor service they will feel obliged to tell every friend and family to avoid wasting their valuable hard earned money and time in this horrible place.

So does asking the right questions and active listening cost you business? Most definitely!!

How can you meet let alone exceed expectation of your customers if you assume your expectation is the same as theirs.

Take the restaurant example:

Imagine if the waiter/waitress or even manager had taken the time on their arrival to get to know them, built a relationship by being interested in what brough them to their restaurant etc. They may get an idea of their likes and dislikes. Maybe they chose the restaurant because they knew they could have a meeting over dinner without being interupted or because of the fast services or the excellent fish they serve.

You can start to guage their expectation and aim to exceed it.  However if you have been trained to attend to the table every 20 minutes and what they said is they heard they could be left to have a meeting then you will be doing what you think is good service but not what the customer asked for.

So check it out, you could say so when you chose the restaurant because you thought it quiet enough to have a meeting over lunch and I like to check my customers are happy at all times what needs to happen for you to have a quiet lunch, without me disturbing you and for me to know I have provided great service.

The customer might say that it fine just pop over or we will call if we need you. We have to recognise it is our need to check the table every 20 mins not the customer.

Does it help a business grow ? YES

Does it build lasting relationships? YES

Is it worth trying to manage how often you do that ? YES

What needs to happen for you listen more effectively?

What needs to happen for you really understand what the other person is talking about?

What needs to happen for your opinions/or your way of doing things  to wait until that is the way the customer wants it done?

Of course if you ask enough questions and they say they came here because they love fish and you only serve fishfingers isnt it so much better they dont sit down and be disappointed and that you find out what happened for them to believe you were a fish restaurant. If in fact they are looking for your competitor down the road you have 2 choices. You can ask more questions about what is important about the restaurant and maybe you can offer them the best seats in the house, the best waiter a free bottle of wine but you have to be honest fish is not your thing. If fish is the deciding factor is it not better for them to leave knowing what you are great at rather than just you dont do fish…

Hope that helps.

Check with yourself are you listening to hear or just waiting for your chance to talk?


 We recognised that with so many clients we had to have a system to ensure we kept in touch with them all on a regular basis and that we checked in to make sure we had met and if possible exceeded customer expectations.

Therefore I am pleased to announce that Helen has now taken on the role of Customer Service Manager and we will outsource the PA admin role in time.

Are we on track to double our customers? Not sure yet

Are we on track to double our income? We are confident but dont have exact figures yet.

Our bookkeeper Charmaine Moignard is hot on the case and we will have percentages by the middle of Oct, as Sept is our first month of our last quarter and we were off for most of August we feel that is a more honest figure for us to measure ourselves by and share with you.

Are we getting bookings every week? Yes

Are people contacting us every week enquiring? Yes

Are we enjoying life? Yes

Thank you for listening


About Step by Step Listening

I am the founder of Step by Step Listening and we started as a company that eradicated fear of failure and guilt for mums, we coached mums and daughters, we then worked with sole trader and small business owners and over the years we developed a unique ability to help people create the family or business they desire by being able to tap into the resource of being able to sell ideas/prodcuts/visions/services in a way that feels right and gets results. For some they are learning to sell and idea to themselves perhaps a dream or an ambition they have had for years, for others it could be selling responsibility and independence to a teenager or perhaps selling a vision or a change of structure to a team. What ever it is we use unique a unique facilitation and group process to help you discover when you are selling in a way that feels right that's like what?
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