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Two Ears, One Mouth

Advertising is merely multiplied salesmanship. An ad can deliver your message to hundreds or thousands of people more quickly and cost effectively than a sales person selling one-on-one. Although admittedly, the best one-on-one sales people will have a much higher closing ratio than most ads can achieve.

Study after study has revealed that the single most differentiating attribute of high performing sales professionals is their ability to listen.

So if advertising is merely multiplied salesmanship, shouldn’t listening be a key ingredient in developing your advertising? Most sales courses today address the need for listening and empathy in furthering customer relationships.

It is generally agreed that the ratio of listening to talking in sales, should be a minimum of one-to-one, and preferably two-to-one….listening twice as much as we talk. Sales trainers often joke, “that’s why we have two ears and one mouth”.
Empathy is defined as; ‘the capacity to participate in the thoughts or feelings of another’.

To create ads that relate to your customers’ feelings, ideas, needs and opinions, you need to listen to understand those feelings, needs, and thoughts.

In our guideline for Listening to Create Better Ads, guideline number one is ’Welcome your unhappy customers’. Bill Gates says, “‘Welcome your unhappy customers; they can be your greatest source of learning.” Be approachable and make it easy for your unhappy customers to express their displeasure….then take action.

When a customer is unhappy; listen, listen, and listen. And don’t stop listening at the first stated complaint. Ask, “Is there anything else?” After listening again, ask again “Is there anything else?” Ask repeatedly until the unhappy customer finally gets to the original source of their displeasure. Generally their first complaint is only the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

Listening this intently not only gives you some insight into how to improve your business, listening and demonstrating your empathy for the situation is often enough to reduce the customer’s anger.

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