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The Art of Listening: Transforming Business Systems with Genuine Engagement

Updated: Jun 10

In the world of business and technology solutions, especially in the 'customer is king' era, you’d think that building a solid foundation based on trust and understanding with your clients would be standard practice. Yet, I often find myself branded as a revolutionary for doing something astonishingly simple—listening. Why? Because in an industry cluttered with solution-pushers and checkbox-tickers, taking the time to truly understand our customers has become a standout strategy.


We've all encountered them—salespeople who hear but don't listen. One of my most memorable yet least favorite experiences was with a vendor who rushed to recommend a solution before fully understanding my needs. Despite my detailed explanations through emails, conference calls, and screen sharing, a rep prematurely pushed a third-party app, driven more by personal connections than by a genuine fit for my needs. They set up the pitch call and within seconds, it became glaringly obvious that the app had no relevance to my documented issue. This experience didn't sit well with me. I felt like my vendor didn't care at all about me and my needs, and it made me wary about the relationship moving forward; they definitely had to work hard to win back my trust after that.


When I launched my own CRM consultancy, I vowed never to be that person. I remembered the frustration of dealing with aggressive sales tactics, hollow nods, and the 'shut up, I know what you need' attitude. So, I'm flipping the script. My approach centers on deep understanding rather than pushing predefined solutions. I delve into the nuances of each client's business—what drives their revenue, how their teams operate, their management style, and the challenges they face. This isn't about ticking boxes; it's about crafting solutions that truly resonate with and empower the client, ensuring a partnership built on trust and understanding.



 


Case Study Highlight


At a previous company, I faced a significant challenge when a Field Service need emerged. With no prior experience in Field Service, our initial response was to assign a consultant to the issue, hoping for a quick fix. Unfortunately, the lack of real communication between the consultant and the field service team led to weeks without progress, and I had to step in.


I began by listening closely to our field service team, diving into the specifics of their daily operations. We spent hours reviewing their processes, and I asked numerous questions to understand the nuances of their needs. I learned about how our dispatchers operated, the metrics vital to their partner teams and leadership, and how we could better empower the technicians involved.


Determined to find a solution, I immersed myself in Field Service Lightning documentation and other help articles. After a week of intense learning and implementation (which we can discuss further at another time), we developed a solution that not only addressed the immediate issue but also enhanced overall efficiency. Our new system enabled the team to dispatch 15 technicians efficiently for service and repair tasks across the entire continental US, significantly improving our operational capabilities. Once again, I didn't believe I was doing anything groundbreaking, but it seems that the missing secret sauce was truly just a genuine interest in the team's needs.


This experience underscored the importance of direct engagement and deep understanding in crafting effective solutions. It wasn’t just about deploying a consultant; it was about understanding the process, challenges, key players, personalities, metrics, and everything in between to empower the team with technology and tools tailored to their specific needs. The success of this project taught me the value of truly listening and engaging, and asking the right questions—principles I carry into all my client engagements.



 


In the early days of my business, I tried to fit into the mold of the traditional, aggressive salesperson. I felt like an imposter, and my pitches didn't go well either. I knew the value I could bring to the table, but there was a tangible disconnect between the confidence I had in my work and the pushy 'you need to hire me, here's why' vibe of the pitch. That's when I had my epiphany. The best salespeople don't see themselves as salespeople at all—they are problem solvers. They dive deep into the different layers of a client's business, asking about everything from company goals to management style and team dynamics, not just to make a sale, but to make a difference.


So I've gone back to operating within my comfort zone—by asking questions. A lot of them.

What are your day-to-day challenges? How does your team measure and recognize success? What keeps you up at night? ... and the list goes on.

I listen to the subtext as they walk me through the projects on their to-do list, and pick up on the hidden inefficiencies that might also be hindering their success. This isn't just chatter; it's my way of diagnosing before I prescribe. By the time I propose a solution, I aim to ensure the prospective client that, yes, I understand exactly what they're going through. I've listened, I've fully engaged, and I have some ideas on what could work instead.


This approach doesn’t just solve problems—it builds relationships. My clients know that I'm in this with them for the long haul, not just for a quick sale. They trust me to manage their CRM systems because they know I understand their business, their team, and their personal management style intimately. This isn't just good practice; it's good business. My results and client satisfaction speak louder than any sales pitch ever could.


Listening might not be groundbreaking, but it’s rare enough to feel revolutionary in the world of business systems. If more businesses embraced this 'radical' concept, we’d see fewer solutions discarded, less money wasted, and more challenges truly solved.


🍻 So, here's to making genuine listening the norm, not the novelty. 🍻


Tired of sales pitches that don’t listen? Or maybe you were over-promised on your CRM and now you're stuck trying to make it work? Let’s chat. I’m here to find real solutions to your CRM challenges—not just sell you a product. Schedule a consultation with me today and experience a different kind of CRM consultancy.


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