I love The Common Scold.  Yes, Scold, not cold.  (Who could ever love the common cold?)  Why?  Because Monica Bay always makes really good points  in a very compelling way.  Take her post telling the story of Jane Smith and her encounter with a vendor.  Read it.  Learn.

The first point, not using a woman’s first name until invited to do so, is a sound and often overlooked piece of advice.  Its most often overlooked by men.

The second piece of advice, to LISTEN, is of such universal importance that it applies well beyond the vendor-vendee relationship.  It applies to every relationship!  At least ones you want to be successful relationships.  Answer this one question:  How many times have you be involved in telephone conversations with your clients when you have been doing something else at the same time, like  reading email or searching through the file to find the document you know the client wants to discuss?  Listening is an active exercise.  It requires concentration, focus, attention.  Of all the attributes of the most successful client relationships, I’ll wager my house that effective listening is on everyone’s Top Five list. 

Even though its that important, how many of us are really good at it?  How many take it for granted?  How many are trained or practice listening?  That’s why the importance of Monica’s lesson can’t be understated.