The ability to listen well is one of the most important skills for a professional writer.
It’s also one of the most difficult. Most people want to talk about themselves, or get something off their chest. That’s why it’s so easy to get distracted by the latest drama on social media, or the news, or the next big sale.
But if you’re a good listener, you’ll know exactly when to jump in and when to hold back.
The trick is to take notes and remember as much of the information as possible, while still remaining present in the conversation.
STEP 1: Understand the Situation
What is the real problem your prospect is facing? What would you do if you were them?
In a sales scenario, this is called “customer empathy”. In a creative or editing scenario, this is called “understanding the client’s vision”.
As a writer, you need to be able to understand how your clients would feel if they were in your shoes.
Once you’ve got a clear idea of the situation, you can start to think about how you can help.
STEP 2: Listen with Purpose
Don’t just listen to what they say – listen for the details. What are they trying to communicate? What does it mean for their business?
This is where you get to use your creativity, imagination, and judgement.
Try to imagine what the solution might look like. Is it a website? A product? A service?
Whatever it is, try to figure out what would be most beneficial to the client.
STEP 3: Remember As Much as Possible
Write down everything you hear.
Even if it doesn’t seem relevant, you never know what it might come in handy later.
And don’t worry about grammar or spelling. Just get it down as fast as you can.
STEP 4: Respond with Your Expertise
It’s time to use all the knowledge you’ve gathered in step 1.
Based on what you heard, how can you help them? How can you turn this problem into a solution for them?
Think about how your unique expertise can help them.
STEP 5: Ask for Their Feedback
When you’ve completed your work, ask the client what they think.
Ask them to tell you what they liked and didn’t like. Ask them if there are any areas they would like to improve.
Ask them to give you specific feedback on your proposal.
That’s it – you’re done!
Thanks for reading!