2 posts tagged with listen
What's your name, listening and paying attention

December 28, 2015
What’s Your Name

I’ll never forget the lesson I learned from a rather famous book entitled, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Granted, this book is almost a rite of passage for some industries and now sits among others on the shelf of great books. There are many lessons you can learn and practical tips you can take away from this author’s suggestions and advice. One of them which I doubt I will ever fully master (though I continue to try) is the importance of remembering a person’s name. One of the quotes from the book perfectly encapsulates this idea:

“Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

If this is the sweetest and most important sound than what a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate that you also find them important. Simply remember their name. There are of course numerous ways to attempt to do this. I’m sure you’ve experienced the sad, and awkward occurrence when someone tries to remember your name by repeating it at you over and over through the course of a one minute conversation. Clearly this is somewhat embarrassing and a bit annoying. They’re attempting to use a technique which has been around forever. Remember this?

“Repetition aids learning. Repetition aids learning. Repetition aids learning.”

This advice, though accurate, can be detrimental to the relationship if used inappropriately or done too obtrusively. Therefore, remember the importance of learning someone’s name but also the importance of doing it the right way.

A person’s name is special. Even though there may be millions of Davids, or Steves in the universe to each individual that name is special and unique. If there is one way to improve your relationship with someone then prove that they are important to you by remembering something special to them: their name. It’s almost an offhand conversation starter. What do you do when you meet someone for the first time? You ask their name. You’re probably not even listening to the answer because you have already moved on to the next question in your mind or the next thought you want to share. But this is a mistake if you want to build a relationship (and all those times when you don’t know if you want to build a relationship). Because you don’t always know where a road will lead.

Asking someone their name therefore is your first chance to build the right foundation for a relationship. Don’t take the opportunity lightly and don’t let the moment pass you by. Ask with care, ask with purpose, ask and then…listen. Your first question is also your best chance to start right. Take a moment the next time you ask: What’s your name?

Be Memorable - Remembered by you audience

September 11, 2014
How to be Memorable

One thing every good business wants is to be remembered. This will inevitably lead to future sales and greater growth. If our businesses and our marketing must be designed to make our company or organization more easily remembered by our audience then we must look at how to be memorable.

I’d be foolish to attempt to tell you that these 6 tips will make you instantly memorable. There are of course no set guidelines which will guarantee your organization or company will remain in someone’s memory…this isn’t Inception. However, here are six things to get you started.

Listen more than you talk

The art of listening is one which I’ve mentioned previously and one which is more than likely the most difficult on this list to do well. Listening when your job is in marketing is even more difficult because social media networks try to focus your attention purely on active sharing of information instead of nurturing the one-to-one connections which happen when you are listening.

When you listen to someone when they speak you will be remembered as thoughtful and caring. But this leads directly to the next point.

Be genuine

You must be genuine when you listen and respond to someone. Your attempt to engage and connect with your audience involves listening and responding with true interest in their situation. If you are not genuine you will most definitely be discovered. When you are in marketing in particular your community, your audience will be more aware then ever to your intentions and your motives. If they are not genuine then your audience will distrust anything further you attempt to share.

Your genuine interest and interaction with people will make you memorable for your personal touch.

Ask good questions

One way to encourage good listening and help assist you in being genuine is to ask your audience good questions. When you ask the right questions you’ll demonstrate that you are indeed listening to their situation and you care about their needs. Asking the right questions will cause you to think about the person you’re speaking to and what matters to them. Good questions are leading questions. Questions which require the other person to give sentence responses. In other words, not yes or no answers. These closed answer questions quickly turn a conversation into an interrogation.

If you’ve ever talked with someone and they have asked questions which showed how you they were truly listening to you and wanting to know more about you then you know how it makes you feel. You remember them for being attentive and wanting to learn.

Share your story quickly

Of course you never want your conversations to be one-sided. You’re not just asking questions and listening. You have to share information too. This isn’t hard. In fact, this is the part of the conversation you’ve been waiting for and if you’re not careful you can quickly become memorable for the wrong reasons. You don’t want to be remembered as the long-winded talker who wouldn’t shut up. Instead you need to share your story but share it quickly. This means practicing your elevator pitch and getting your information shared easily.

When you are succinct in your talking you will be quickly remembered for listening more than you talk and for sharing good information in an easy-to-follow manner. When you’re in doubt you should always err on the side of sharing too little instead of too much.

Be quick to follow up

The conversation and the connection doesn’t stop when you walk away or hang up after the call. Your opportunity to be memorable and your connection with your audience continues on long after the conversation has ended. You can stand out in the other person’s mind by being quick to follow up. Don’t forget their name, don’t forget their answers to your questions. This continues to show your commitment to them and your desire to maintain a relationship. Be genuine in your follow up and legitimately look for ways to speak with them after the meeting.

The follow up is an important way to not only stay in touch but also to make your business or organization memorable in their minds.

Offer to help

The last tip I’d like to leave you with in your desire to be remembered (at this point you have listened well, you have asked good questions, you’ve followed up) you are in the best position possible to help them. That’s right. You can offer your assistance in helping them in any way you can. Perhaps you can directly assist them because of your expertise or your field, but even more importantly, you may not be able to directly help them, you can help them indirectly. Connect them with the right people. Make introductions and genuinely demonstrate your desire to see them succeed.

If you offer to help (especially seeking nothing in return) you will be remembered as someone unique, someone special. A person who is interested in more than just a simple sale or self-serving purpose.

You can be memorable. It’s not difficult and with just a little bit of thought you’ll be implementing these six tips and increasing your chances of being remembered. It’s important to keep in mind that just because we are practicing specific ways to be more memorable we are always doing it with the right motivations and the right emphasis. It comes down to being genuine. You must be genuine above all. Love what you do and be passionate about the things which motivate and drive you. Share what you believe and make strong, lasting connections with others.