Communicating as a Leader

How to Build Good Communication and Sales Skills to Use on the Job asked:


Communication skills involve both speaking and listening to the client and showing your sincerity and professionalism. Communication involves receiving information, processing information and responding. You do this in a sequence of actions that require you to be attentive.

As a Sales Associate, you will depend upon your communication skills from the Meet/Greet to Thank/Follow-up.

Listening Skills

You probably spend more time using your listening skills than any other kind of skill. Like other skills, listening takes practice.

What does it mean to really listen?

Real listening is an active process that has three basic steps.


Hearing. Hearing just means listening enough to catch what the speaker is saying. For example, say you were listening to a report on zebras, and the speaker mentioned that no two are alike. If you can repeat the fact, then you have heard what has been said.

Understanding. The next part of listening happens when you take what you have heard and understand it in your own way. Let’s go back to that report on zebras. When you hear that no two are alike, think about what that might mean. You might think, “Maybe this means that the pattern of stripes is different for each zebra.”

Judging. After you are sure you understand what the speaker has said, think about whether it makes sense. Do you believe what you have heard? You might think, “How could the stripes be different for every zebra? But then again, fingerprints are different for every person. I think this seems believable.”

There are three forms of listening: passive, selective and active.

Passive listening is a non-verbal form of listening. The listener provides little to no verbal feedback to the client. Passive listening can lead your clients to assume that you are not really interested, or they may feel it necessary to repeat themselves to ensure that you understand.

Selective listening can be summed up as “hearing what you want to hear.” When selective listeners hear what they want to hear, they appear to be engaged and to understand. Conversely, when selective listeners do not hear what they want to hear, they tune out the client, or worse, become reactive.

Active listening is sometimes referred to as reflective listening. Active listeners receive clients’ messages with care and respect and then work to verify their understanding of the message. Active listeners capture both the facts and the feelings of clients. Some behaviors to use are:


·                         Show patience

·                         Give verbal feedback to summarize understanding

·                         Acknowledge emotions

·                         Speak up when something is unclear, or confusing


Fundamental to good communication is using “active listening.” Whenever you listen actively to another person’s comments, your reason for doing so is to understand the meaning of the message from the speaker’s point of view.

Your clients have choices. If you don’t make them feel welcomed and valued, you will likely lose them as a client.

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