How To Listen on the Internet

Here is a novel business idea that will double, triple, or even quadruple your bottom line. Actually it's nothing new - it is a bread-and-butter of business. Or rather bread without a butter because it is so basic. But even though it is SOO basic I am constantly astonished how very few people understand it!

After being on the web for more than three thousand hours I got used to my portion of personal letters, often written in response to my posts on various lists and discussion boards. Quite often writer's comments lead to a business offer. That's perfectly all right, because I need to buy things too and since I respect proactive business people, I'd rather buy from those who write to me than those who don't....

However, it saddens me when they (well, a majority of them anyway) waste the opportunity to score extra points and fail to create a good first impression. Quite often they turn me off because after asking me to help solve their problems and/or offering me their products they raise questions such as: "By the way, what kind of business you are in?" or "Would like to learn more about you" or here is the best one: "Do you have a web presence?" (it came with yesterday's mail - seriously!)

Because I ALWAYS include a signature file which answers those questions - and because the signature has even more: a link to my website, which answers all those question, asking any of them tells a lot about a correspondent. It tells me that he/she doesn't listen.

Not a good sign.

You might say "c'mon Wanda, LISTENING on the web??" Yes, listening! If creating our websites is the equivalent of talking, and participating in the discussion lists or boards represents a conversation - then READING someone's post or letter is the equivalent of listening. Keep this in mind when approaching anyone with your offer, proposition or idea. We do create lasting impressions with that first contact! And reading as carefully as we can whatever others disclose helps to make that first great - and most important - impression: demonstrating that we are good listeners.

Dale Carnegie once said "You win more friends in life by being interested in others than trying to get others interested in you". It works on the internet, too. To establish trust show the other person that you are interested in what he or she is doing.

Outside of the web this can be time consuming - but here it is a cinch! Most of the time all you need to do is to click on that link in the signature file, visit a website and take your time to read a little! (of course it starts with READING that signature!)

You will find that true heartfelt listening will result in the creation of lasting relationships. And that, my friends will make your business thrive (even without those search engines!)