Tom asked his staff member if they had understood the instructions, “yes” came the answer. Then some 30 minutes later Tom’s phone rang. It was his staff member, asking questions that Tom had answered and the staffer comfirmed hearing.
Lily walked into the shop and the shop assistant greeted her. Lily was very certain on what she needed, colour, size, and she told the shop assistant her needs. The shop assistant nodded knowingly and excused herself to get the product. Imagine Lily’s surprise when what was brought back was nothing like she described.
Most of us have been where Tom and Lily have been, some even in the place of the staff member or the shop assistant. So why don’t some people seem to listen and why do we need to feel heard?
Listening versus feeling heard facts
Listening is what the other person does and feeling heard is what we want and how we feel when we believe they’ve listened. Both rely on the perspective of the person doing the listening or wanting to be heard.
Most people listen for the information they believe is important. There are two critical points in this:
What the person believes is important
What is important to the person being listened to
TIP: What is important to one person may not be important to someone else.
We like to feel heard because it validates us and what we’ve said, plus it validates the drivers behind what we said. Feeling heard depends upon:
How the other person reacted as a listener
The stories we tell ourselves about being heard in the past
Our own drivers around what we said and feeling heard.
As an active listener, when you’re also responding, it’s key to know the core of the issue or the end goal and work towards it.
As a reflective listener, when you repeat the key points the speaker has made, it’s key to perspective take, show empathy when relevant, summarise from their drivers and ask for clarification and confirmation.
As a discriminative listener, when you also pay attention to the emotions and other non-verbal cues, it’s important to not interpret or respond based on your drivers or the story you tell yourself when faced with similar circumstances.
As an evaluative listener, someone who needs to listen, answer & make a judgement on what is said, it’s important to respond factually and not from a place of your drivers or story.
TIP: A good listener knows that the most important person is the speaker.
How to make sure you’re heard
It might seem silly but you really need to tell the listener that you need them to respond (or not) and if what you’re saying, and their response, is important to you. Yes, to be heard, it can mean being vulnerable and detailing what your drivers are and it can even take time to be clear on them yourself.
To be heard you need to let the listener know that feeling heard is important.
If you want a suggested solution, let them know.
If you just want to be listened to and heard, let them know.
If you feel misunderstood it’s ok to ask the listener to summarise what you said.
Let the listener know if you feel afraid or anxious about the topic discussed.
Remember that the listener is going to respond from their drivers, stories, and experiences and they may not be the same as yours (and that’s ok).
What to do when you’re not heard
So what about Tom and Lily? What do you do when you’re in their shoes and you haven’t been heard (or even listened to)?
Most bosses are likely to yell, especially if it’s a common occurrence, and most shoppers would smile sweetly and either try what was suggested or walk out.
TIP: It’s rarely personal
In these situations you need to be clear on the following:
What boundaries do you need to maintain? Can you safely do it?
Would escalating the issue resolve the situation? (or would it just make you feel better)
What was your core driver? Were you wanting a fear understood, a need met, a belief or value validate, or a goal achieved?
Can you understand why you were misunderstood or feel unheard?
It can be hard being objective, especially when you feel unheard, unappreciated, misunderstood or not valued. When we understand that everyone comes to every situation with their own stories and drivers, we can use that knowledge to increase our chances of being heard and feeling valued. It also makes us a better listener. If you need help with this, I’m all ears.
Have you ever used your understanding of human drivers to help you in a situation where you needed to feel heard or you needed to make someone feel heard? I’d love it if you left me a comment below and told me the story.
It’s said that there are 5 key business drivers: cash, profit, assets, growth and people. If I’m honest, it comes down to one and what drives it: people. So what is the psychology behind staff and customer drivers? By they way, the psychology of marketing is now called neuromarketing.
In the previous blog, I wrote about the psychology of online business and this article is all about the psychology behind the key drivers of a business, or more importantly, the people that make it happen. Let’s lead these horses to water and have them drink.
Before we look at specific groups of people, I really recommend you look at this article on how a small change in thinking about how to motivate people to drive the action you need works & makes a huge difference. Go read it now and come back! Here’s where you learn more about driving people and understanding the psychology of it: https://www.karalambert.com/business/what-really-drives-business-success/
Psychology of staff drivers
I’ve trained many staff, I consulted with many staff, and I managed staff. The most important lesson I had was when I managed 10 staff. They were beaten and needed support and motivation. So I turned to them. I showed them how they fit within the aims of the Department and asked them what they were passionate about when it came to their work & how the Department helped Veterans. I showed them how as people, they were the most important thing to our business success – because they were.
My staff went from being unmotivated to incredibly productive, happy, having less time off, being consulted more by the business areas we serviced, and they got rid of 2 years’ backlog of work in 3 months. There was no overtime, bonuses, or extra pay. Instead, I made people the most important part of the business. My staff could see where they fit in the direction & success of the Department, they had meaningful work, we had happy ‘clients’ & we were a success.
This proved what I had read in my Masters program on happy staff being the key to having happy clients.
These areas can be as open or closed as you like. You can use them to promote or sell items or events. You control who is accepted into the group. It works like your own business fandom and is perfect for growing a ‘tribe’.
There was a time where Facebook Pages were “dead” and Facebook Groups were the best thing to grow your business. By now I hope you realise that there’s a lot more to it than building the Group and hoping people will come. An active group require active and engaging content & that requires an understanding of your customers’ psychology. Before you go too much further, scoot off and read the following article and come right back: https://www.karalambert.com/facebook/whats-facebook-group-think/
So I’ve covered off running a Facebook Group for your business, what about gaining business from other people’s Facebook Groups? Yes, it can be done and I’ve generated thousands of dollars in revenue from working other groups. Now, this should be part of any business strategy, with or without your own Group. So I encourage you to read this article I wrote on how to use psychology to game posting in other people’s Facebook Groups: https://www.karalambert.com/facebook/responding-facebook-group-post/
Customer satisfaction & psychology
So the customer satisfaction survey results are in and Management come back with the standard, “Customer Satisfaction is slipping. YOU need to get it up!” How often have you been told that you need to lift the customer satisfaction rating for your area, team, or business? Then shook your head and wondered just how to make it happen. There’s no magic wand or crystal ball for this one. It’s totally out of your control if they’re happy with you because you’re doing everything you can; special offers, follow up, personalised service. You’ve pulled out all the stops for the customer. You’re giving it all you’ve got!
Traditionally, improving customer satisfaction takes on the form of “What else can we give them?” or “What else do they need?”
What if I was to tell you that there were 2 more effective ways of improving customer satisfaction than throwing more money and things at the customer. (metaphorically speaking)
70% of Americans say that they look at reviews before they purchase and 90% of customers say that their decision was based on the reviews they read prior to purchasing. Online reviews and other forms of social proof form an important part of a business’ social media marketing. However, as we are talking about the human behaviour of making a purchase, be it online or offline shopping, then we need to consider the psychology of reviews and social proof.
Drivers in Customer avatars, client personas, USPs & use in neuromarketing
To be honest, whatever you call them, you better be including what drives your ideal client. Why? Because understanding why they do and react how they do is as (I’d say more) important than knowing their age/gender/marital status etc.
So why do the standard client avatars fail in my eyes? Here’s the thing. With a degree in psychology, I know that we are more than what we do. I understand that diagnoses and labels give us meaning and structure to our lives, it makes things easier. But labels are just that, they stick on top of a number of behaviours and/or symptoms which make up the labels.
I don’t know about you, but I’m more than the labels society puts on me. Yes, I am a mother, daughter, sister, wife, graduate, business owner; but so are many other women I know. Does that mean that we are all the same? Does that mean that all of our behaviours are the same? No!
So why do marketing experts and business owners still believe that these client profiles based on labels work? At best they are generic, but how are they used and what lies behind them?
These avatars are used to help business owners with their marketing and messaging, what is now being called neuromarketing. They exist to help with what words to use, where to focus marketing efforts; but where does this come from? The business owner’s interpretation of the labels. And this interpretation comes from their lived experience and opinions of these labels. This interpretation comes from our biases. What if they’re wrong?!
So what happens when a business does a standard client avatar exercise and finds it doesn’t work, and I have had many business owners in tears because this is the case but they were lead to believe it would work and was crucial. Their marketing efforts are misguided, they don’t make the money they feel they should, they are demotivated, and some even close their businesses believing they were a failure.
All because they relied on labels rather than what sat behind them.
One of the common things business owners say to me during training on the psychology of social media is that they have an issue with marketing to their customers’ fears. They said that they had paid for neuromarketing advice and been told to market to their ideal client’s fears. But they didn’t like it and in fact, they no longer used that advice. Sound familiar.
This is what annoys me. There is so much information out there which we throw by the wayside but believe it to be true because everyone says it. It’s like learning lemmings. (My Mum would say, if everyone jumped off a cliff would you too?) Ok, so that’s a little harsh but it seems like a big waste of money to pay for advice and not use it because you’re not comfortable with it.
I believe, and teach, that there are five key motivators of human behaviour in neuromarketing (on and offline). One of the motivators is fear. Looking into the research, fear is actually a poor motivator. If you use fear to motivate someone, they will comply and follow, they are not making a choice and they are not using their free will. It is also not the way to build trust or grow a relationship. Fear is not an incentive to take action, it’s an incentive not to. Fear is there to keep us safe.
In the end, I hope that this article (while long) has helped you to understand what drives the two main groups of people your business success depends on. If you would like more tailored advice, I am available to consult and you can book a quick chat through this page: https://www.karalambert.com/business_coaching/