Listening for Profit

June 1996
by Robert C. Brenner, MSEE, MSSM

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The entrepreneurial playing field is littered with the debris of failed publishing businesses. Yet I wonder how many of these companies would have survived, or prospered, if their owners had listened to the marketplace.

Listening is not easy. It’s a skill, a science, and an art. And it should be learned, honed, and nurtured. Listening is a remarkable key to achieving business and personal success. Yet poor listening is a problem that many publishers don’t recognize and accept. Most people think that they listen quite well and that listening is a natural gift. But while they hear a speaker’s voice, they often fail to listen to the actual message.

During arguments between couples, one person may exclaim, “You’re not listening!” A mother or father correcting a child may demand, “Open your ears and listen to what I’m saying!” Parents and spouses may be direct, however a customer will communicate by firing you. They’ll find another source for their information, a source that “understands,” a publishing company that”listens.”

The problem is that many people just don’t recognize the other person’s point of view. They don’t give concentrated, active, and attentive focus on what a speaker is saying. A message must be received AND understood before true communication can occur.

The point is you can’t learn when you’re talking! Listening is vital to every aspect of business. It lets you gain valuable information, understand
others, recognize problems, and discover solutions….IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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