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Listening Between the Lines

African American parents and cute small kids wearing protective

Defining your new client in the current reality.

No matter how your business adapts to change, or how you evolve as an entrepreneur, there is one thing that will never change: The need for you to listen between the lines. It’s a muscle that needs strengthening. Beyond answering the phone or smiling at people when they walk in the door, customer service requires a true ability to listen.

When a prospective client comes to your business, they’re already interested in what you have to offer. It’s your job to listen, and not just to what they’re telling you, but what they’re not telling you. Many times, the client isn’t just looking for a dance class on Tuesdays or a one-on-one piano lesson; they’re looking for a way for their child to make friends, feel safe, and learn new skills. In much the same way, an existing client has wants and needs that go beyond what they may actually tell you.

Think back to when you first defined the ideal client for your business. When you thought of this person, what did you see and feel? How did you picture this person? Where did they shop? What were their hobbies? How many kids did they have? How old were their children? Where did they spend their time outside of work and home? What was your relationship with them? The answers to these questions help create a profile of your business’s ideal client, or avatar.

Now, what has changed for you and for them? COVID affected everyone’s lives in one way or another, changing the way people work, shop, educate, socialize, and build community. As we start to see the light begin to shimmer through the gray, there is no better time to take a new look at who your client is and how to serve them in this new environment. We cannot define why our customers need our services until we know who those customers are. 

A quote from George Bernard Shaw rings clear as you look at redefining this core piece of your business. “Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” Although change can provoke fear, change is inevitable. We must adapt, we must grow, we must continue to allow ourselves to step above what once was to see what can be.

But most of all we need to change how we listen. Listening tells us who our avatar is and what they need from our studio in the season ahead.

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