by Brent M. Jones
The Marketplace has a voice. If your a Fortune 500 businesses, mid-size business, small or startup business, or even a sales manager, trying to find the most helpful thing you can say to excite the troops and point them in the right direction, then the best answer is to listen to the marketplace.
Entrepreneur's, better than anyone, listen to and know this voice because it tells them what to do, where to do it, and when to move. It explains what the customer needs will be even before they are totally clear to the customer. It answers what type of new business will succeed or what new, or even old, product will sell now.
Markets move and change rather than standing still and sometimes the change is business shrinking crying out for change. Sometimes it is expansion preceded by trends showing the direction. Fads can point to coming trends or just be short-lived: listen for both. Change your direction when the fad fades and gear up when the changes prove to be trends.
When a trend intersects with changes in customer needs then an opportunity results. Entrepreneurs have their ears close to the marketplace and often recognize first when to change their direction and take advantage of changes. They execute more often and are seen as creative rather than just good listeners. Watching and listening to the entrepreneurs might be seen as a solution if you can't hear the marketplace. One question to ask yourself about the marketplace is which entrepreneurs have some of your customers business and why do they have it.
Both large and small businesses as well as sales department and sales leaders all have the opportunity to listen and see where the marketplace is telling them to go. All will benefit by intuitive listening mastering the ability to read between the lines and pick up on the unspoken clues that hint at a larger story.