Listening Skills

If you are a manager of a sales-based organization, then you deal in a climate of instructions, responses and feedback. Unlike other jobs where such processes are often undertaken at the end of a month, it is not unlikely that in a sales environment, this process can occur multiple times in a day.

Listening Skills

In such a situation, it is imperative that the Sales Manager should be a good listener. He/she should also have the ability to concentrate on the team’s inputs even in the tightest of schedules and deadlines. A good sales manager not only practices good listening skills, but also teaches it to his team also, so they improve their relationship with their clients and customers in a working environment.

Many people wrongly assume that listening is a medium of taking inputs, so the conversation is one-way. However, a person listening intently to what you are saying is actually communicating through his silence. When a salesperson shares a feedback with their manager, who happens to listen with intent, then it does the dual action of encouraging them to speak further and build a confidence in them.

Listening may not have any relationship with verbal communication, but the truth is that good communicators are also best listeners. It is found many times that that the most productive team has people who have team members with good listening skills.

Common Listening Techniques

Some of the Common Listening Techniques that Sales Managers use are given below −

  • Asking informative and exact questions at the beginning and end of someone talking, but not disturbing them in between.

  • Short but friendly phrases like “Go on”, “I understand” as well as “Is that so?” help to build the speaker’s confidence.

  • A good listener gives adequate amount of time to the speaker, which helps in explaining the points properly and comprehensively.

  • A good listener always maintains good eye contact with the speaker, but avoids staring for too long.

  • At times, using supporting phrases becomes repetitive and the listener risks coming across as overtly friendly and phony. In such cases, use gestures.

  • Good listeners don’t judge others or arrive at a conclusion unless they have completely heard the other person’s speech. They encourage others to take time and collect their thoughts.

  • Smile when appropriate and necessary. A simple smile gives more assurance and help than lines of soothing words.

Good listening skills are necessary for success in any job, but more so for a sales manager because he needs to have a constant communication level with all types of clients or stakeholders. He communicates with the sales team, sales manager, Management, customers and other departments of the organization, so he is almost the single point of contact for some of the most important functions in the organization.