Do You Want Your Business To Grow?

If you answered yes, then you need to KEEP reading!

One thing I love to do with you is sharing real, behind-the-scenes stories. I know there is a ton of value in learning from others. As I go through my day I often think of lessons I can share. This most recent lesson has to do with listening. At first, you may think “Oh I am a great listener” or maybe a certain someone comes to mind that you think “wow, they stink at listening.”

Maybe listening sounds kinda boring to you. Or you may be asking how it can actually help you. My point is, listening is a valuable skill for our business regardless of how you feel about the topic.

Let me tell you, you MUST master the skill of listening if you want your business to grow.

Listening is something we can all improve upon, even me. But I’ve had a couple things happen recently that really drive this lesson home.

The frame of mind I want you to have while reading:

Definition of listening – “make an effort to hear something; be alert and ready to hear something.”

Do me a quick favor, turn off all distractions for the next
5 minutes while reading this!

 

No one says I want extra work!

I am currently hiring for a new Virtual Assistant. My current one (that I loved) got a full-time offer and can no longer work for anyone else. So starts the search for a new assistant. I have a process I follow when hiring whether for myself or clients. And in 3 days I have almost 200 applicants. While this is awesome to have so many amazing VA’s interested, I am finding people sending me privates messages, asking where to send their resume and other info.

In my post about the opening, I link to the page on my site with details of what I am looking for and I give the link to the questionnaire. Some of these individuals are not “listening”, and giving me extra info. I will pay no attention to that extra info, they are giving me EXTRA work! Imagine if 1/2 those people all sent a message, email, etc. It frustrates me when people do something that unnecessarily adds to my workload. Now I know they aren’t thinking of it this way, but it’s because they didn’t listen. Yes, I could have written do NOT message me, or don’t send emails, etc. But I will not hand hold and am looking for a VA that first can follow directions without me listing every single little step. In my VA training I try to drive this message home, do NOT give more than the potential client asks for. They are already busy, that’s why they are hiring and giving them extra work is a huge turnoff (for most, I can’t speak for everyone).

I know some of those that applied may be on my list and reading this. I am not trying to be harsh but I don’t have the time to manually track that extra info sent. I know what I am looking for and the questionnaire I created will give me that.

Whether you are a VA or a business owner of another type, are you listening as you go about your day?

Remember what the definition is as you read this…

The definition I shared talks about making an effort to hear something; being alert and ready to hear something.

Here are 3 tips on how listening can grow your business:

  • Use Facebook groups for research. Join groups that have your ideal clients in them. This is NOT so you can promote yourself. It’s so you can listen (by reading) and learning what they want. You can ask questions, use the search box for certain terms that relate to your industry, post surveys for feedback and much more. There is valuable information here that you can use for marketing, feedback, or ideas for content or new services. This way of listening is often overlooked. What I do is ask for feedback or use the search box to learn the pain points of my ideal clients. I use some of this as ideas for blogs, newsletters, and even content for programs. Be sure you never use names, private personal things, basically use common sense on what to use and how to use it.
  • Pay attention to your client’s complaints. If you have a call before someone becomes a client this is an excellent time to take notes on what their challenges are, what keeps them stuck, frustrated, etc. Then as you are working together listen for what I call complaints, but really it’s a problem they want a solution too. This is another way to listen and gather valuable information that you can use in ways I mentioned in the above bullet point. Again use common sense with this, never share names or confidential information. It’s about making effort to learn what is needed and how that information can help your client’s and grow your business.
  • Make it as easy as possible to work with you by listening to questions asked. If you have been listening when you are asked questions then you can make it easy to work with you. An example of making it easy is this, the VA’s that just applied to work with me, several give a wide range of rates and say it depends on services, that’s too confusing for me. I want one rate, even if it’s higher so that I don’t have to try and figure it out. Then some have their currency listed even though it’s clear I am in the US, ugh I don’t want to have to convert that. Sometimes listening is also about remembering things that have frustrated you in the past and how you would have preferred it. Set things up based on frustrations you had and how you preferred it or based on questions you had in the past. Then have a friend or someone in your network go through the process. Ask them for feedback like, are things clear? Do you understand what I do? Do you know the next step on working together? We tend to over complicate things but don’t always realize it. Too many choices or options gets confusing and someone will just leave.

I hope these tips give you some ideas on even more ways to listen what your ideal clients really want and need!

Action to take: Take some time to jot down 1 or 2 ways you will start listening more and be sure to add to your calendar or project management system.

Doing this will help grow your business 🙂

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