To Listen Well, Use all Five Senses

Great listening is a key facet of strong customer relationships. One technique we use with our clients to get them really engaging in hearing their customers, is to use all five senses. “How can you do that?”, you might ask – “Isn’t hearing just about, well, hearing?”

The truth is, empathetic, intuitive listeners use a whole series of cues when they listen. Think about a customer conversation you’ve had today. It doesn’t matter if you were in person, or on the phone, or even reading and responding to a series of emails. What were you seeing while you were engaging with your customer? Were you looking out the window of their office instead of at their face? Or were you actively watching as they demonstrated the part of your product that wasn’t working? What could you smell? Perhaps someone was microwaving something delicious-smelling in the cafeteria and it was a distraction. Or perhaps you had an opportunity to learn something about your client when they explained how the scent of the cold air was one of the most delicious things on their ski holiday. The taste of your food during a lunch meeting, the crunch of snow underfoot as you and your client walked to the restaurant…senses and sensations can make a real difference in how we “hear” the cues that will cement the customer connection.

So the next time you’re looking to make a customer relationship stronger, see if you can engage all five senses in the conversation – and make sure you’re using your power for good (to learn) not for evil (as a distraction).

Taking 5,

Megann and Steve



Make better decisions, get better results, grow your business. We use a deep toolkit of specialized techniques help clarify your objectives, identify decisions that must be made, and eliminate knowledge gaps, resulting in strategy with a firmer foundation and better results.

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