If every week doesn’t require you to work as hard as you do and there’s a constant flow of cash, would you care about listening to customers? How much do you even listen to customers now?

As humans, we suck at listening and that’s bad for marketing a brand. Here are the basic steps to help improve your listening skills…

1. Ask better, more intentional questions
When you try to understand your customers by listening to them, you create a safe environment. Sometimes this is as simple as engaging with the right questions. One of the easiest questions to ask for best results: “Why?”.

2.  Be empathetic and curious
You build empathy like you build super-fast typing skills: with time and practice. It plays a huge part in your business. Business is about meeting human needs, If you don’t understand another human’s needs, you will find it impossible to meet them as a business. So be empathetic and try to understand your customer’s life, struggles and desires. Not through your eyes but through theirs. While you’re digging into empathy, you may find yourself increasingly curious about what your customers are going through.

3. Take GOOD notes
Maybe you’re already taking notes during a conversation. I know I do. Because I’ve gotta see the words written down in order to retain them but unless your notes help you understand others – and plan your response – they’re practically useless.

4. Throughout the conversation, recap what you hear
To quiet your restless mind, you need to review and summarize the main points of the user or customer you’re listening to. When they’re finished talking, you restate the points. Double-check that you’ve understood their message by saying things like, “What I hear you saying is…” or “When you say that, do you mean ____?”

When you practice these techniques, you:

Process information better,
Pay more attention to your speaker’s message and meaning, and
Make people feel heard (AKA the biggest benefit as when someone feels heard, they feel understood).

Pay attention to the details in your world so your listening skills strengthen.