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Why listening is essential in business (and how to do it)

Listening in business is an essential skill to have. It can help you identify which issues customers and clients face, what exactly they’re looking for, and how you can help. It can also improve the relationships between you and your employees and co-workers – so it makes sense to improve and maintain your listening skills.

It can also improve the relationships between you and your employees and co-workers – so it makes sense to improve and maintain your listening skills.

Invite customers to share

When you’re selling products online only, it can be difficult to gauge how customers can respond.

It’s wise, therefore, to send follow up emails after products have been purchased asking for reviews and ask for feedback on your website.

This can give you insight into what parts of ordering from you customers enjoyed or felt frustrated by. Once you know what customers are thinking, you can improve your products and services!

Pay attention

When you speak to your customers, digitally or in person, pay attention to what exactly they’re buying your products or services for. What are their goals and objectives? How does your business help?

This can help you tap into unexpected markets, introduce new complementary products, and boost your business in order to maximize customer satisfaction.

It’s important to not simply hear what you want to or dismiss others with a ‘you can’t please everyone’ mindset.

Listen with intent and try to identify exactly what the motives of your customers are!

It’s also important to listen to your employees in the same way: allowing them to speak honestly and openly, and taking what they say seriously, can help build a positive work environment and boost productivity across the board.

Listen to more people

A lot of people talk rubbish: but there’s also a lot to be gained by listening widely. By communicating with your stakeholders, service providers, customers, co-workers and listening to the news you’ll be able to gain insights you could have missed otherwise.

This can help you improve your business, and check that you’re on track.

But do keep in mind that not everything you read/hear will be sensible or relevant to your business! Some people really are impossible to please, and others will have ideas that just don’t make sense at this point in your business.

When you speak to your customers pay attention why they’re buying your products. What are their goals? How do you help? This can help you tap into new markets, introduce complementary products, and boost your business to maximize customer satisfaction.

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Listen with kindness and grace

It can be hard to give honest feedback, so listen when someone gives it to you. We’re programmed to defend ourselves and position ourselves as the good guys, so it can be hard to listen to criticism gracefully.

In order to really thrive, you need to learn to hear the hard stuff too: it’s from our weakest points that we can grow the most, so listen in a way which makes people feel that they can speak.

Remember, it’s not just about the message you’re trying to send out, but how that message is being received. It could be that you’re – accidentally – communicating something you don’t mean to, so stay open and humble.


Listening is beneficial no matter how it’s viewed. It can make you more aware of the needs of your employees and customers, help you improve your products and services, and boost your profitability.

Let us know what you’ve learnt in business by being open to listening!

Lena Klein

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