How Not Listening Makes You Lose Customers

How Not Listening Makes You Lose Customers

Did you know that according to a recent survey, that 69% of potential customers agreed that if they felt listened to, that it would motivate them to make a purchase?

We’re not surprised.  All-Systems has been a big proponent of utilizing call tracking numbers on our retailer’s marketing campaigns in efforts to help improve their sales pitches.  Listening to the calls has been an eye opening experience.

Once, while  listening to call, the caller literally opened by saying “I got a flyer in the mail from you for DISH, and I’d like to get set up”.  

This retailer ended up losing the sale.  Want to know why?

Here was the retailer’s response:

“Oh great… let me tell you about all the great features our Hopper receiver does…”

What’s wrong with this answer?  

They had a potential customer that was READY TO GO,  who had already passed the informational stage of the sales process.  Instead of listening and taking them through the purchasing stage, they instead took them back to the beginning of the sales process.  The caller was already sold, and the retailer was attempting to sell them again.

By the end of the call, the retailer overwhelmed the caller by going through a slew of information about the product that they didn’t ask for, which in turn gave the caller second thoughts, thus ending the sales opportunity.

This retailer could have saved the sale by instead responding with…

“Great!  I have installation openings on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.  Which day works for you?”

This would have worked better since it addresses the next step with getting the customer set up with DISH, as well as asks a question therefore encouraging a back and forth conversation.

So how exactly do you know you’re listening effectively?  Here’s our top six things to look for:

You Have a Sales Script, But Can Still Have a Conversation

Sales scripts are always a good thing to have, no matter how simple or complex your product or service may be.  A truly skilled salesperson knows their script well enough that they can hear what the customer is telling them, identify where in the sales process that person is, and redirect the conversation to the appropriate part of the script.  They can also clearly identify any objections that customer may have and as a result be able to address them.

After a Someone Explains a Challenge, You Can Easily Summarize It

This is a great skill to master and can work wonders for both your professional, as well as your personal life.  After someone explains an issue to you, instead of responding right away, take a moment to say “Just to be sure I understand your issue/problem/concern…” and then attempt to summarize it.

This shows the person you’re not only making a concerted effort to really listen to them, but that you fully understand what they’re trying to tell you.  It’s especially helpful in working with someone who is very escalated and upset.

You Make Regular Contact with Your Prospects & Existing Customers

There’s a reason the salespeople who make an effort to have the most conversations, whether it be through door to door, event selling, or phone selling, have the best results.  Starting conversations keep you front of mind, making it easier to convert said conversations into sales or referrals.

For this to have the best results, you’ll want to use methods that a customers have to opt into.  This shows that they are truly engaged with your brand and ready to hear your message.

For keeping communication open with prospects, you can create email newsletters, educational content about your product for social media, or plan educational events.  You can also join local community groups, like the Chamber of Commerce to further build your network of potential customers.

For keeping communication open with your existing customers, the good news is they’re already engaged with your brand since they’ve already purchased from you!  Keep in touch with them via 2x2x2 calls or messages, a dedicated customer email newsletter, and invitations to customer appreciation events.  

Also don’t underestimate the importance of polling your prospects and customers.  Ask them what their needs are, and how you can be of better service to them.  You can then use this information to improve your products and offerings, and better serve your communities.

It’s Easy for Customers to Get a Hold of You

If your customers can’t get a hold of you, you’re going to miss out on an opportunity to keep your prospects engaged and your existing customers happy.

In order to do this, be sure your phone numbers are functioning properly, your voicemail isn’t maxed out, you promptly return messages (phone and email), and that you’re actively monitoring your social media.  

If it takes you days to get back to someone’s correspondence, it just shows them you do not value them and they’ll take their business elsewhere.

You Address Negative Reviews Publicly

Statistics now show that 92% of customers utilize online reviews prior to making a purchase.  Of those, 86% will hesitate to make a purchase from businesses that have a negative review.

This is another crucial reason why it’s so important to manage your own presence on online listing and social media sites.  These services all allow users to post reviews whether or not you’ve claimed your business’s listing.  If you don’t currently do this, there could be negative reviews you aren’t even aware of that are hurting your business!

A negative review is an opportunity to listen!  You can address the issue the reviewer encountered (including but not limited to why and how), explain how you’ll correct it, put new systems in place so it doesn’t happen again, and show other potential customers you care about them and want to make their experience the best possible.

You Ask Your Employees What They Think

By setting up regular meetings with your employees, you gain an opportunity to hear what your prospects and customers are saying to them, as well as what challenges they as employees may be encountering.  They also may have ideas for improvements you may not have thought of due to how close they are to the part of the business they are responsible for.  By listening to their suggestions, they will feel more included in the running of the business and better value their part in it.

Listening is a skill that’s easy to master so long as you commit to practicing  it.  Best part is, it’s easy to start.  You and your business can benefit from this important skill immediately and start growing your business and improving your customer’s experience today.

Are  you are listening effectively?  Comment below on what you plan to do today to be a better listener.  


SVP of All-Systems, toddler mom, and (grand)daughter of three generations of entrepreneurs. I'm a satellite TV and technology expert who loves listening to others and thinking of innovative ways to level up just about anything.