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Through proper communication techniques we can serve our clients better. Learn how to be a better listener, use open-ended questions and put these skill to use to lead the customer to the sale.

Materials: Flip Chart, Open Mind
Time Needed: 30 – 35 minutes
SME #20

Review – (2 Minutes)

• Ask the group about any successes they’ve had in the past week with using their new sales techniques. Discuss with group.

Introduction - (3 Minutes)

• Introduce the topic by asking everyone if they would agree that through proper communication techniques they would be able to better serve their customers.
• With agreement from the group tell them that today’s meeting will be focused on how to improve & enhance their communication skills.

Be a Better Listener - (15 Minutes)

Stress to the group that too often we as salespeople only go through the motions of listening to the customers. It is human nature! When the customer is talking, instead of really listening, we are thinking about what we will say next.

• Ask the group: “What can we do to be better listeners?”. List their suggestions on the flipchart. Make sure they get:
• Listen intently, really hear what the customer is saying
• Don’t interrupt, don’t ever finish what the customer is saying
• Don’t assume anything, never assume that people understand us, get the facts before we act
• Don’t exaggerate, when repeating what you hear don’t exaggerate
• Watch for body language, i.e. folded arms, not looking you in the eyes, rubbing nose, read into what they are saying by what they are doing

Using Open Ended Questions

Stress to the group that through asking questions they will maintain control as well as getting a clear picture of what the customer is after. Open-ended questions are ones that cannot be answered with a yes or no. They are key to staying in control.

Have listed on the flip chart:

• I think… What do you think…?
• I want… How do you want…?
• I like… What would you like…?
• I will… How would you like me to…?

Group Interaction – (7 Minutes)

Go around the room asking the sales consultants what open ended question they would use to find out from the customer:
• The features they liked in their old vehicle?
• The features they want in their new vehicle?
• How the vehicle will be used?
• What is their timing for the purchase?
• What they want to accomplish today?
• What their budget is?
• Why are they here now?

Learning Point: Stress to the group that through asking open ended questions and listening intently you will become equipped with the right information to lead the customer to the sale. Remind the group that when the customer is talking we as salespeople are not just waiting for our turn to talk.

Conclusion & Coaching Focus - (5 Minutes)

• Ask everyone to commit to doing a better job of listening.
• Ask everyone to try the ideas that have been suggested in the meeting.
• Ask the staff to note any changes in their performance to be discussed next meeting.
• Encourage anyone that may have questions during the week to feel free to come to you to discuss them.
• Encourage the group to role-play the open-ended questions amongst themselves during the week.
• Leave them with the following quote,

“Make good habits and they will make you”

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