Listening, it seems so easy, because we do it the whole day long, don’t we? Honestly, are you carefully listening the whole day? Probably not. This week I realised the power of active listening again. It was during a meeting with a potential client.

It was a rather short meeting, in between others. Just a short introduction to get to know each other. The potential client already knew about us and was most probably looking for confirmation of what he had heard before.

After exchanging thoughts about his ideas, the way we would like to approach his challenges and stressing that this would mean a long period of intensive collaboration, he surprised us.

“This is such a different approach”, he mentioned, “I have been talking to many other software providers, but they only tried to sell their solutions to me. None of them was really listening and finding out what I need”.

Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer
through early and continuous delivery
of valuable software

Principle 1 of the Agile Manifesto

Almost all IT companies nowadays claim that they are “Agile”, which among others means intensive “customer collaboration”. Hearing this remark from someone who has been experiencing the software solutions market it looks like they are just “Agile inside”. To the client they offer their standard solution, without trying to adopt it to client’s need. 

Or did the sales responsible just not feel like listening?

Unfortunately, this is not just an incident. I have heard similar remarks several times before. This time it just triggered me to share it, hoping things might change for the better.

I am curious about your experience with (software) providers. How many of them really aim to find out your needs? Feel free to share below, or reach out to me on Twitter (@PetersOpinion).

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