Interviewing is an Art, but Listening is a Skill
To gain a better understanding of your target market requires more than just interviewing prospects. Hearing what they have to say and acting upon what they tell you are important elements that are often lost in the process. It all comes back to listening ...
Nothing is more important to a marketer and a copywriter than empathy. Without a thorough understanding of the target audience, your chances are slim when it comes to making a connection with prospects.
One of the best ways to draw them closer is through interviewing. But we’re not talking your typical, microphone-in-the-face meeting where you rattle off a list of questions and the interviewee gives you lip-service responses.
Forget the made-for-TV sound bites. You’re seeking thoughtful, revealing answers that help you paint a picture of who your prospect truly is. And that requires you go much deeper than Q and A.
A skilled interviewer is not only an expert questioner, but an even better listener. Communication is a two-way street, yet sales and marketing tend to be mostly about presentations and one-sided speeches.
That tends to be a turnoff, not just in sales and marketing, but in all relationships. Think of all the times you were excited to meet someone, only to come away disappointed. "All they did was talk about themselves," you’d think.
Promoting your product or service may bring attention, but it does little to advance your understanding of those to whom you’re marketing. Make it interactive. The ability to listen to your prospects think out loud – and for you to actually hear and act on what they have to say -- gives you a competitive marketing edge.
From the perspective of your prospect, it’s the difference between making them feel "sold to" vs. making them want to buy from you.
Lending an ear and identifying with your prospects could provide answers that were unrelated to your original questions. That’s a potential boon to your marketing efforts. Understanding the unique views of your prospects gives you a better grasp of what they want.
Your prospects and customers will gladly speak their minds – if you give them a chance. Because they want to be understood. And you’ll want to understand what they’re thinking, and why. Chances are, they have a lot to say.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeffrey Long is a freelance copywriter and marketing consultant who helps businesses achieve shorter sales cycles and increased ROI by going directly to the source for answers. Through research and interviews of your target market, Jeffrey leverages the most powerful of resources. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.jeffreylongcopywriting.com to see how Jeffrey’s targeted marketing and copywriting services will boost your business.