Do you listen? Really, do you work at it? A fellow I partnered with for a time about five years ago asked me why customers usually bought from me at the first meeting. He simply didn’t understand this: I listened.
Listening pays big dividends. What I did, basically, was listen to what his customers — the folks he brought in for our partnership effort — wanted to accomplish. Then I set about figuring out the best way to do what the customer wanted. Sometimes I would suggest two or three ways (never more than three) and then lean back and listen to the prospective customer’s thoughts.