Bonus point: If you sell to consumers (as opposed to business-to-business), get familiar with social media. Your customers are talking everyday on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and countless other online locations. That conversation is going on, with or without you. If you don't know how to effectively participate in those areas, ask your teenage nephew or niece to help you - you'll be amazed what it will do to extend your 'line of sight' into your customers needs.
Les McKeown is a writer, speaker, consultant and President & CEO of Predictable Success(R), an organizational development consulting firm based in Marblehead, MA. He is the author of Retaining Top Employees, The Complete Guide to Mentoring and Coaching, The Complete Guide to Orientation & Re-Orientation. For more on employee retention, visit Les' Retention Secrets website.