Many years ago, I made a request to the head of communications of the company where I worked: What is the number one quality of a good communicator? His answer was without hesitation: the ability to listen. And he added: “No one can be a good communicator before 35-40 years, because that’s where you become good listeners. Provided that you have the talent for listening and desire to practice it.”
I do not know whether there is a minimum age limit to become good listeners and, therefore, good communicators. What I know is that it actually exists a close link between listening and communication. In other words: the more you know listen to the world around you, the more you know you communicate well.
It is ironic, I realize: first listen and only after communicating. But it is just that: the communication must be two-way. On the one hand, we must certainly know how to speak, how to write, how to be of interest to the other party. On the other hand, we must also know how to listen. Because effective communication is one in which the issuer and the recipient subject continuously interact in cognitive and emotional level, that complement each other, they do not fall by the wayside.
On the other hand, the one-way communication, that is, the one sided, is hardly accepted by people . Except when we choose voluntarily, such as when we put ourselves in front of the TV or listen to the radio. Although, in recent years, even the television and radio broadcasts those seeking to engage listeners, with requests of telephone interventions or with the direct participation of the studio audience. The radio listeners who phone and those interviewed in the studio convey a clear message to those who are at home without intervening: you too are here with us, you are participating in the debate. We transmission hear your reactions and your opinions.
Listening also proves successful on the web. In fact, if you want to do digital marketing effectively, businesses need to fully understand their audiences. Only after this phase of listening to the target you can take action, such as creating content through content marketing.
Conversely, companies that do not listen to customers are likely to fail their online marketing goals. Because these companies end up communicating according to the old broadcasting logic, which are fine elsewhere, but representing the antechamber of bankruptcy when you are using the web.
To be even more clear: it is useless to create an institutional website or a corporate blog with the intention of making blatant advertising for their products or services. People are not stupid: does not want to read what the company is good-good-good, because he hates those who incenses car. Especially on the Internet, people looking for real solutions to their problems. He has no time to lose: he wants a swift response, efficient, fast. If you cannot give them to him, immediately he goes elsewhere, perhaps even in the arms of your competitors. After all, there are only a click away from your site…
But listening does not stop at the initial stage, one in which an effort is made to understand what your target wants. Listening needs to continue beyond, once the company has put online content tailored on the needs of potential customers.
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Why listening is to be extended even after the communication has been made? It’s simple: because web users often interact with companies. (After all this it is the purpose for which companies communicate on the Net!). And how do they do it? In various ways: with a comment to this post on the company blog, with a comment to a post on Facebook or tweet on Twitter, writing an email to the customer care of the company, filling out the contact form on a landing page etc.
Your task is not only to give a precise and quick response to those who give you feedback. Your job is also to be constantly listening, because who communicates with you, you are basically saying if your communication is working or not. More: listen to your target you can make people understand even better what it needs. If you are careful, so you can improve your products or services or create new ones, which are more responsive to the needs of your prospects.
In short: communicate necessarily involves being active listeners. The good communicators are increasingly focusing on the messages, and are able to give positive feedback, avoiding unnecessary conflicts.
In conclusion, communicating means to transmit information, and information is absolutely critical to our society. Consequently, the information, and then the communication and the ability to listen, also represent a non-negligible element for businesses. If you ignore this aspect, put in jeopardy your business.