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"Listening", or, "Hearing"?

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Ed Valentine View Drop Down
Carpet Cleaning Specialist
Carpet Cleaning Specialist

Joined: 14/September/2004
Location: United States
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ed Valentine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: "Listening", or, "Hearing"?
    Posted: 22/May/2012 at 10:48am
I was thinking about what many go through when speaking with customers in the field, and when many potential buyers call into our office asking numerous questions about our products. Many times, way before we can get a chance to answer--1--question they have asked several more. At times, I just want to ask if they can slow down so that they can absorb my answer(s).

I read somewhere where people spend approx. 70% of their waking moments communicating with others. This highlights the important of listening particularly for those, like yourselves, who service others. Customers who want to share their carpet care problems; Building Maintenance Supervisors who want their problems solved, etc.

I ask: Do you really hear them, or are you really LISTENING? Because this may be the difference between accepting a job; doing a job; or, accepting further liability and re-dos.

Truly listening to a customer--by interpreting & understanding the significance of what they are saying--allows you to really understand not only what they are saying but maybe even the "reasons" behind why they say what they do.

Learning to be an effective listener is a difficult task because it takes a little time and training on our part. The beginning listener needs to learn the value of "silence" and allow the other side the opportunity to think, ask and answer your questions without interuption.

Never forget that the beginning of wisdom is "Silence". The second stage is "Listening".

Perhaps something to think about in order to diligently make an effort to acquire this extremely important skill. Because once you do, you will achieve greater success in your business and in your private lives.

Best to all;
Ed Valentine
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Ken Harris View Drop Down
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Joined: 12/January/2006
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ken Harris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22/May/2012 at 4:09pm
Good Post Ed.
Inventor of Teflon Carpet Wand Glides.Free Glides for all Cleaners in June!
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akpowerclean View Drop Down

Joined: 03/June/2012
Location: Anchorage Alask
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote akpowerclean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/June/2012 at 7:22pm
New forum member here. Great post Ed.
I would add two things.

Be an active listener, meaning that when they make an important point, validate their thoughts by repeating back to them something similar or by saying ," I see your point" or, " I agree"

Listen with more than your ears. "They say", communication is 90% non verbal.
I agree. Pay attention to non verbal clues. Posture, tone of voice , volume of voice, etc...
This most important when you are speaking to notice their reaction to you.

Here is a little true story to share this point.

Several years ago in Anchorage Alaska I was called to give a bid in a large dental office. When I was shown into the office managers office the conversation started like this,  Angry look on her face, arms crossed) "You better not try to cheat me like the last carpet cleaner we used!" "He gave me a bid, did a lousy job, tried to make a bunch of excuses and charged more money than he quoted me."
My response was, ( I leaned forward with a scowl on my face) " I hate it when carpet cleaners do that. They need to learn how top give a bid properly so that they don't need to try to charge more after the job. They need to be honest about what they can clean up or not. As carpet cleaners that's our job to get your carpets clean!" "Let's go see what the problem areas are and see how we can take care of them." So we stomped off together, with her complaining about this and that and I was agreeing and explaining what could be done. After about two minutes of this her voice softened and she begin to introduce me as the carpet cleaning company that was going to be cleaning their carpets. They turned out to be great customers.

I agree with you Ed that communication is the key to getting customers and retaining customers.


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