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To build business, manage to listen

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Tracy Rode always tries hard to comply with a client’s need for speed, even if it means unrealistic deadlines under near-impossible circumstances.

Her particular challenge—and that of her company, Vision3 Interactive in Nashville, Tenn.—is that online technology is evolving so fast that it’s hard enough to keep up with technological advances without over-the-top customer demands.

Even so, if it goes on the Web or on CD-ROM, Rode’s team will try to do it in the customer’s desired time frame, from graphic design and photography to programming and application design. She customizes all her sites without forcing them into a template.

Rode’s can-do attitude translates into word-of-mouth referrals. Vision3 has hosted several sites continuously since starting up in 1995, and one client has built more than 20 commercial sites in nine years.

Her secret: Listening. Although she runs a tech business, Rode ranks her expertise in technology third in importance behind listening and project management.

“Almost every day, I talk to frustrated companies whose Web sites aren’t performing as they intended,” she says. “And the primary reason is that the Web developer didn’t really listen.

“Bells and whistles don’t mean a whole lot if it takes forever to load the site, and then the potential customer can’t find your phone number.”

— Adapted from “Woman Ink: Tracy Rode,” Nashville bizwomen.com, Nashville Business Journal.

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