Why Listening Matters
One of my favorite parts of working at an agency is that every day, and every client, is different. Instead of becoming an expert in one field, working at an agency like ours, with such an interesting variety of clients, pushes you to become an expert in many different fields.
At Drawn, our clients are plumbers, brewers, bankers, ice cream makers, wineries, landscaping specialists, seafood vendors, and restaurants (just to name a few). All of these clients are from completely different sectors and walks of life, and our job as an agency is to learn everything that we can about their worlds so that we can help them to the best of our ability. And the way that we learn about their worlds is by listening.
We do a lot of listening. We hear about clients’ hopes and dreams. We learn about daily life in their shoes. We observe their competitors, customers’ behavior, and terminology to determine their specific needs and best practices.
"If you make listening and observation your occupation, you will gain much more than you can by talk." - Robert Baden-Powell
One of the biggest issues in the way that we communicate today is that most of it has moved away from face-to-face. We live in an era of half listening, when most people just seem to be waiting until it is their turn to speak. But at Drawn, we listen — really listen — as much as we can. It is a sign of respect to our clients, as well as a learning mechanism. How else are we going to learn about our clients if we don’t listen to what they have to say?
As crucial as listening is, it's only the beginning. After the first few conversations with the client, we truly dive in. We start listening to podcasts, watching videos, reading articles, and basically become experts on their field. We take everything that we learned from the client and then learn some more.
We’re always learning. It makes us good at what we do. And since our agency has worked with so many diverse clients, we are able to use our past experiences to build on existing knowledge. The longer our relationship with the client, the more legitimate our claim that we are experts in that given field.
Sooner or later, we find ourselves talking to our friends about these topics. The client's world has become our world. All because we listen, learn, adapt, and grow with each new project that we take on.