Shields down, listen up

By Stephen Rhodes

Kirk,  Picard, Janeway, Archer and Sisko were all good listeners. When faced with some enormous threat to the universe, their approach was first to diplomacy. Shields down, listen up.

It works equally well in business.

Small businesses have an advantage over larger ones because typically their relationships with customers are more intimate, hands on. To benefit from this leg up you have to drop the shields and be prepared to listen to what your customers want to say to you.

Do you make it easy for them to contact you? Do you take their calls?

Do you have a small advisory group of customers to bounce ideas off over breakfast once a quarter?

Do you invite their opinion in your literature, and online through blogs, tweets, surveys  and forums?

Drop the shields and put your Spockian ear to the wall. Listening will make you a better company and build long and prosperous relationships.

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