Listening with Purpose

Posted by on Mar 8, 2016 in Featured, Individuals, Miscellaneous, Organizations, Women | 0 comments

Listening with purpose

Listening is a lost art. Few people know what it means; never mind how to do it.

If actions truly speak louder than words, then the absence of the latter proves the former. Sitting in silence demonstrates that the purpose of doing so is to profit from whatever the other person has to say.

Contrast this with what modern day listening has become. Conservations consist of people interrupting and talking over one another, and finishing the sentences of others. It’s not about learning; instead it’s about using the time while another speaks to gather your own thoughts so that you can express your opinion as soon as possible, whether someone else is speaking or not.

If you truly listen to learn, then you are to be congratulated, because you also expect to gain something by it. That alone puts you in the minority.


What is the purpose of listening to customers?

Why do you listen to your customers? Perhaps a better question would be, “Do you listen to them?”

If you should eavesdrop on a conversation or two, you’d discover that many salespeople don’t. They want to get to the sales process as quickly as possible. They have missed the fact that selling is about finding a solution, and in order to do that they need the customer’s cooperation. That is an essential part of it.

And that changes the dynamic of listening. If the purpose is to benefit from what another says, then what you’re being told should be considered as feedback. In other words, the conversation should not be seen as a competition to see who can get his / her point across. Instead, it should be appreciated as an opportunity to learn.

If you’re willing to listen, which means that you have no agenda to promote, you will be amazed at how much your customers will tell you. That’s because they will recognize that you actually care about what they have to say.

If, however, they get the impression that you’re not that interested, then they won’t tell you any more than what you can see for yourself. You won’t come away from the experience with more than a surface understanding.



When you’re willing to sit and listen, and to respond when you’re asked to, rather than chomping at the bit for the next opportunity, the avenues of communication are opened to clarify any ambiguities that have arisen. And you can take care of these things on the spot. There’s no chance that such misunderstandings will be allowed to fester. That’s because of the mutual respect that you have for one another; the certainty that what the other person has to say is more important than what is on your mind.

It takes considerable humility to behave like this; but doing so will set you apart from your competitors. That’s because the majority of them have failed to grasp this idea of listening for the purpose of learning about the needs of others.

When we think about it like that, it seems so obvious that we wonder how anyone could possibly miss it; and yet the problem is so chronic that it takes an article like this to point out the “obvious” solution.


If we watched a video of you speaking with your customers last year, what would we see? Would it be a series of conversations where you said little and took a lot of notes, or would you be dominating the dialogue.

This year, decide that you will encourage your customers to do most of the talking. Think about questions you can ask that will help them to do so. Listen with purpose; and then brace yourself for a flood of feedback that you didn’t even know was there.

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