“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

We spend a lot of time listening to our clients and to prospects. We find tremendous value in it. One of the reasons that is by nature we’re inquisitive, and we learn things when we listen. Our initial meetings with clients are a litany of questions from us, and in prospect meetings we rarely start talking about ourselves until we are invited to do so – even when the meeting is happening in our conference room. We’ve got plenty to say, of course, like any Agency does; but our attitude towards what we have to say it that we’ll eventually get to it, once our client or prospect has finished with what is on their mind.

And there is always plenty on their minds. Usually they are business-people who are focused on what they are doing and who love it. And they are in a transitional frame of mind: nobody comes to us when they are delighted with their Brand and how it is being communicated – typically there is a problem. So what they want to talk about is that problem.

We don’t talk to look smart. We attentively listen so we can understand. That makes us smart.

Which matches up nicely with our natural tendency towards inquisitiveness. We’re blessed with the kinds of minds that find almost anything interesting, so we’re happy to listen and ask questions that further our understanding. We have many “pitch” meetings where we say almost nothing at all for 45 minutes: we’re just asking probing questions and taking notes.

The understanding gained allows us to then make what we do say actually count. We offer ideas and possible solutions based not on what we want to do or have done in the past, but based on what the client may actually need, based on what they just told us.

Our proposal documents start with a section about “what we heard you say”. We’ve had clients tell us they hired us because of that section. They said “you really listened to us, and actually heard what we said. That meant the world to us”.

So if you want to talk, we want to listen. Give us a call.

Posted in Branding