As entrepreneurs, we tend to have positive outlooks. Where others see problems, we see possibilities and can’t wait to tell people about how great we are or our new discovery.

But as an advertising executive I need to learn as much about my customers as possible. To develop a trusting relationship its best to listen before talking. As the old saying goes...If I’m talking, I’m not listening.

 

 

The reality is that new businesses need to constantly be learning and improving. The goal of any new business is to solve its customers problems and the only way to find out what their problems are is to listen. As a habit I call each customer every month and ask 3 simple questions.

What should we Start doing?

What should we Stop doing?

What should we Continue doing?

What should we Start doing allows us to understand where our customers still need help. It gives us ideas of services we can offer that will be valued and we can charge for. This question can help drive long term goals of the company or highlight small changes we can implement quickly. It also tells us what type of partners we may need to bring on to manage an account properly. Finally, if its a service we cannot or are not willing to provide, it gives us insight into how potential clients may fit and what type of client may be a bad fit.

What should we stop doing tells us where our customers see no or negative value in what we are doing. It allows us to eliminate wasteful services or actions and that saves us money. We’re can reallocate our resources to provide more value.

What should we continue doing keeps us focused on where we are currently adding value. It tells me areas that my staff is performing well and clues me into things that I need to do to support them. It also tells me things I can promise to new customers that I am sure we can deliver on. 

Keeping these questions open and more importantly simply taking the time to ask them should be a top priority. Letting your customers know you care not by telling them, but by listening to them has been paramount in building trust with our great clients. 

So one simple way to avoid mistakes and grow your business is to take a moment to stop talking about your own business and then shut up and listen.

Andrew Blickstein, the founder and sole owner of Home Run Media, has almost 20 years' experience in the industry. Andrew has worked with FanDuel, Insight Beverages, Nailene, Microsoft, Virgin Records, and is the president for the Chicago Chapter of the Entrepreneurs' Organization. He knows how to find assets in others and create an environment where they will provide their best work.

 Written by Andrew Blickstein, the founder and sole owner of Home Run Media, has almost 20 years' experience in the industry. Andrew has worked with FanDuel, Insight Beverages, Nailene, Microsoft, Virgin Records, and is the president for the Chicago Chapter of the Entrepreneurs' Organization. He knows how to find assets in others and create an environment where they will provide their best work.

 

 

 

 


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