In my world everything begins with a simple message. Marketing is a message between you and your potential clients.
The way you talk to your management team is a message, a conversation between you and the people that help you do what you do. But listening is also a part of the message. It’s key to the conversation.
in order for a conversation to take place, there must be an exchange, someone giving the message and another receiving it.
What is the message that you think your product is saying and what is your audience actually hearing? What is the question that your solution tries to answer and what is the problem that it actually solves? We know how we feel about our products, our programs, our lessons, but how do our clients’ feel?
I recently spoke to a Fortune 500 company…
about effective communication. It went extremely well, but I have to tell you, it’s much easier to just walk in the door and talk. I mean who wants to
- worry about tracking the number of attendees and measuring their response to your message so that you can tweak it for the next group?
- prepare the required materials in order to get quick and documented feedback from your audience?
- address a small army of details that many people in business ignore (unfortunately)?
Well, I do because feedback is the other side of the conversation.
Communication requires a speaker and a listener.
And to be effective both parties must wear both hats at one point or another. Feedback is your chance to listen to your audience, to hear your clients.
Listening takes effort, but it pays for itself if you put it to use.
Below are a few ways to help you discover what your clients think because these thoughts affect their willingness to pay attention to what you’re offering.
#1 JUST LISTEN—You may hear the TRUTH.
Sometimes people will give you unsolicited praise as well as unsolicited complaints. Weigh them. How many times are you getting the same message? You may need to pay attention to it and make an adjustment.
There may be an area in your business that you think is unnecessary but it actually draws your clients in. If you don’t listen to the feedback, you could miss an opportunity to improve.
#2 JUST ASK—You May Find A FEEDBACK FRIEND
Sometimes you need to ask for the feedback. You can do this face to face or offer an anonymous option. I use both. And I have had the best conversations by asking. In fact, I’ve stumbled upon some feedback friends—people I can go to and get the truth no matter what.
Anonymous questionnaires are also good too. They give the shy and uber-kind person a way to tell their feelings without judgement. Again you’d be surprised what you can discover by asking.
#3 STUDY BEHAVIOR—See The The HARD FACTS First Hand
If you offer a product, then watch their spending habits. Did they buy it? Did they return it? Did they tell a friend? Did they come back? These answers are a part of the feedback process and can be used to improve your business.
If you’re speaker, then watch their body language. You may need to tweak as you go and give them a new reason to engage with you.
Feedback is an ongoing process and it’s good for business. Just be sure to use multiple avenues to gain a well rounded picture.