Do we really listen? Do we really listen as “to pay attention; heed; obey’—as defined by the dictionary?
Or do we just hear—as in “to perceive by the ear “—also as defined by the dictionary.
I am not playing semantic games. One is passive the other is not only active it has an action associated with it. Do you see it?
We claim to listen. That claim is a corporate claim. It’s a differentiating claim—a claim of capability that we tell clients and prospects about. But do we really listen? Are we actively listening? More important, are we completing the act of listening by heeding and obeying?
Lester will tell you that the key to success in our business always has been listening. Listening gives you insight. And insight can be acted on; so the chain works and listening is real. You pay attention to your customer; you heed their needs and obey their wishes… What could be better for creating real relationships?
In our Internet-centric world, listening has more promise; it opens up more opportunity and can be even more real than ever before. We are real time, or close to it. We can react quickly; we can personalize as close to “one to one” as we will ever get and closest if we really listen (see the definition again…).
And yet, are we really listening? Spam is a growing problem and many of our clients contribute to it just as they do in the physical mailing world by over-contacting customers, by using lists that are too general and large or by not looking for life time value but rather for quick, short term hits.
Are we really listening or do we substitute computer programs based on sets of business rules for real insight? Are we really listening or are we still relying on volume and declaring victory with small percentages of returns? Are we really listening or are we only hearing?
You tell me. But I do know given the ability we now have to really listen—to really react and even more to be pro-active—I question and question again…
One of my favorite philosophers said it best:
A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.
Ask yourself: are you sending for the child of 5?