Milestones (Comments and Readers)

I haven’t talked about the first milestone mostly because I don’t want to jinx it, but it’s been pretty steady for a few days now so I feel comfortable that I won’t jinx it too badly.

I’ve recently exceeded 100 subscribers to my feed.  That is spectacular.  I remember when I was frustrated when I couldn’t get above 50.  Seems like a very long time ago, but really wasn’t all that long ago.  September of last year in fact.  Then I flirted with 100 just before Christmas only to lose it for a week or two somewhere around the beginning of February.  But it’s been above for a little while, so Woo Hooo!!! I feel like I can celebrate it a little.

Now, the second milestone is one that is nearly impossible to take away from me.  See, you guys can all unsubscribe and the 100 disappears.  But you can’t take away the number of comments on my site!  The only way those are going away is if they mistakenly get deleted.  Hopefully that won’t happen anytime soon.  Sometime late last week I surpassed the 1000 comment mark.  Pretty impressive if you ask me.  Maybe not, but I like it.

I’m still a little bit away from the next milestone, 1000 posts, but that one should be coming up sometime next year.  At the moment, I’m sitting at 640 (this is 641) posts.  That only leaves 360ish to go.  One a day for a year.   I doubt I’ll post a post a day for a year, so it’ll probably be in the late summer / fall time when it happens.  We’ll see.

7 Necessary Sales Skills: Effective Listening

I can hear you all now telling me that I’m crazy. What does listening have to do with what is predominantly a textual medium? A lot more than you may think.

Despite the textual nature of what we do here on the ‘net, we still have a lot of listening to do. Each and every one of our readers has something to say. In the case of a blog, they say it through your contact forms and your comment forms. If you’re reading each and every comment but not responding to any of them, you aren’t listening effectively.

Listening effectively to your readers entails much more than typing away at your keyboard writing posts. You’ve got to hold a conversation with them. Without that conversation (your part is about 80% listening) you won’t get very far in your sale. Nobody likes talking to a wall.

Respond to your readers comments. Participate in the conversation that ensues. Show that you’re “listening” to what they have to say. While you don’t have to write hundreds of words in response, a simple one word response might not do it. Having effective listening skills comes in very important when you need to listen carefully to your customers to discern what it is that they want.

What is the best way you’ve found to really listen to your readers?