Author: David Wang Publication Date: August 19, 2016
I have a story to share about listening to customers. In the beginning of W2W, I had a meeting with Time Warner Telecom with one of its senior directors. I had a presentation but I stopped it pretty quickly because I did not have a lot of things to offer. He started sharing with me about requirements in the network and technical problems they would like people to solve. At the end of the meeting he said to me, David I really like this meeting because you really listened to me. A lot of other vendors who come to a meeting like this will be pitching about their products and solutions without asking me what our network requirements are. You made me feel really good by sharing what we have and what we may need. You may not be able to solve the problems but at least I had a chance to give them to you and possibly you can.
This is a very good initial indication what a great company can be. We took that to heart. We need to understand the customers’ requirements, issues and problems first, and bring a solution to solve the problem. If we don’t add value and don’t understand that we can solve a problem, then we don’t belong to the customer engagement. Understanding the customer’s problem is a fundamental practice at Wave2Wave.
When you are listening, you are thinking and trying to understand. Listening is a crucial part of communication, but you’re not just listening. Good listening will lead to good questions, not just listening but granulizing and validating what you heard. There are a lot of potential gaps in communication that lead to misunderstanding.
When I speak, I also try to stop. I want to make sure the other party understand what I said and have a chance to resonate or question back to me. I make sure what I said was understood by the other party.
Communication is crucial in a sales position. You don’t have to pitch and push too hard. Listening helps the sales process tremendously because you’re making a much more precise alignment.
Listening is a day to day thing not just sales and customers. It our human level of communication. Listening to each other makes us feel good. Understanding each other makes us feel good. Communication forms a large part of the human relation.