Theres no excuse for not listening to your supporters (sorry!)
Chances are you already know that you never really had control over your supporters, volunteers and constituants. But sometimes you forget, like we all do.

The good old days of bliss

Years ago, when all you had was direct mail and a telephone, you couldn’t tell you was really opting in. Your annual appeal letters would get thrown in the trash and voice mail would take your calls.

Back then, it was all about output. A numbers game based on the theory that more output meant more results. Life was one big excel spreadsheet.

Spam happens

Theres no excuse for not listening to your supporters (sorry!)

Facebook, email marketing, blogging and Twitter haven’t given people the power to opt out (they’ve been doing that for decades). They just make opting out louder. And measurable.

Time and money (same thing) are wasted when listening is skipped. Imagine if you sent out 2,500 direct mail pieces and a week later, 750 of them are returned with messages written on them like “I found someone who understands me better than you ever could” or “You only care about my wallet”. I’m guessing you’d make all changes neccessary to remedy the cause of these complaints.

If you’re not sure how to start listening read these articles:

How are you listening now?

Comments

  1. One of the biggest “failings”, if you like, is that a lot of people and businesses do listen; they just don't hear. Selective hearing is great when your wife is slapping you down, not so much when your customer is packing the suitcase to go live with your competitors.

    Nice reminder, John, cheers.

    1. Anytime, Danny. You've actually taught me a lot of what I know about listening to customers. And they way you actively solicit feedback on your direction.

    2. Anytime, Danny. You've actually taught me a lot of what I know about
      listening to customers. And they way you actively solicit feedback on your
      direction.

    3. Danny, I couldn't agree with you more; you've hit the proverbial nail on the head. Higher level listening is a skill that doesn't appear to be taught; in schools, colleges or training establishments. All in the cause of getting our own point across. A shame really but true.

      Regards
      Paul

      1. Hmm, perhaps there's an opportunity there for companies (or at least the ones that have balls) to offer courses on how to listen better? Obviously it would mean that many higher-ups would have to take a big slice of “STFU”, but has to be worth it at some stage, no? ;-)

        1. Danny, your right a great opportunity for the 'smart guys'; those with the courage to make the changes and of course who know how to listen (I think there's a pun in there somewhere).

          It is being taken up in some sectors; however I feel they are only paying lip service to the cause. Job roles such as counsellors, coaches, therapists etc. fall into this category. Developing the skill is more than just teaching it; making use of the new skill is down to the individual. I guess it's something that is difficult to police, partly due to the fact it is down the the individual as to whether they choose to adopt the skill.

          In answer to your question, yes, it's always worth it. Not too sure what STFU stands for!! In fact I've no idea.

          Regards
          Paul

  2. Hi!

    Thanks for writing about listening. If anyone wants to continue the conversation, I've written a post about setting up a listening dashboard here. I've used it to find jobs, but you can easily repurpose the presentation to listen to any set of keywords on the internet.
    http://www.wildwomanfundraising.com/are-you-loo

    Basically, just use an RSS feed! Netvibes is the best. This post tells you how to create feeds.

    And I've posted recently on how to be a better listener in person too.
    http://www.wildwomanfundraising.com/listening-7

    It starts with asking good questions, both online and offline.
    http://www.wildwomanfundraising.com/connect-peo

    The same strategies that work online work offline, when it comes to listening. People want to hear your curiosity about them. If you have any questions that you always ask people, I would love to read your comments!

    Sincerely,

    Mazarine

  3. Hi!

    Thanks for writing about listening. If anyone wants to continue the conversation, I've written a post about setting up a listening dashboard here. I've used it to find jobs, but you can easily repurpose the presentation to listen to any set of keywords on the internet.
    http://www.wildwomanfundraising.com/are-you-loo

    Basically, just use an RSS feed! Netvibes is the best. This post tells you how to create feeds.

    And I've posted recently on how to be a better listener in person too.
    http://www.wildwomanfundraising.com/listening-7

    It starts with asking good questions, both online and offline.
    http://www.wildwomanfundraising.com/connect-peo

    The same strategies that work online work offline, when it comes to listening. People want to hear your curiosity about them. If you have any questions that you always ask people, I would love to read your comments!

    Sincerely,

    Mazarine