Mr. Entrepreneur, Are you Listening to me?
Everywhere i go i hear of great strategies to enable your business growth, consultants will charge phenomenal money for teaching you how to make a business plan, how to communicate, how to market etc etc.So let me also share a simple strategy that will ensure maximum return to your business, help you grow,scale up, find right partners, employees and much more (and this comes absolutely free). Lets start to listen and by that i mean conscious listening.As people and more particularly start-ups we have a lot to say, alot to sell so naturally we are pitching almost to everyone we meet (and by almost everyone i mean our very own families too) In the process more often then not, we start to tell our story with great passion. But hang on, what happens after that? The guy on the other side nods and nods.. but no result, he doesn't sign the dotted line, he doesnt call you back after the great promises and in case of family.. they are always busy after a point..
Now hear comes the mool mantra of all times.. before you pitch LISTEN to the guy whom you are pitching to (and by listening i mean both verbal and non verbal communication). You will be amazed (as i am mostly) that there are so many things your prospect is communicating or silently telling you, the nods are half hearted, the eyes are moving towards the watch, the person is fidgety on his/her chair.. and whats more he is hearing but not listening to you at all.
Some of the most successful entrepreneurs or successful/admired people from any walk of life have mastered the art of listening, they don't start their pitch without giving you a chance to pitch first, they listen and listen attentively and what they listen they make use of it very effectively. Infact some of the best business networkers are those who hear you, know you and then work on you:)
Lets take a small example - Once i had called to interview an entrepreneur who is a big name in the industry and before i could start, he said, "Shradha so how come somebody who has done History from St.Stephens college get into entrepreneurship? I was stumped, i am the one who was suppose to ask the questions and do my homework but it seems he had done a better job at it. Also as we moved on with the interview , he kept on asking so, "what do you think on this?"
By the end of it i was not only suitably impressed but became a walking champion of him. I am sure this was not done intentionally as to someone like him or anyone, an endorsement from me wouldn't matter, but what i am driving at is the art of listening/knowing the other person.
You can learn strategies, you can learn business just about anything if you start listening irrespective of who the other person is!! While i strive to be a better listener and less of a chatter box, do share in your views and experiences on the same.