EdApp by SafetyCulture

Active Listening

By EdApp
4 Lessons
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This course is free and editable. Yours to re-brand and tailor to your needs!

About this course

Active listening is necessary to converse effectively with clients and let them know they are being heard. Let’s learn about the nuts and bolts of active listening and why developing better listening skills is a sound sales strategy that can win you more clients.

Active Listening Lessons

Click through the microlessons below to preview this course. Each lesson is designed to deliver engaging and effective learning to your team in only minutes.

  1. Active Listening in Sales
  2. Core Principles of Active Listening
  3. Listening for What’s Not Being Said
  4. Barriers to Active Listening

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Active Listening course excerpts

Active Listening in Sales

Active Listening Course - Lesson Excerpt

Active Listening in Sales

How does this apply to sales? Active listening occurs when you listen and respond to your customers in a way that builds trust and understanding. Gone are the days when salespeople have all the aces and succeed by simply talking customers through a product. In fact, people working in sales are sometimes known as "talkers." This implies they would focus more on what to say about their product or service rather than truly understanding their prospects.

It helps you overcome customers’ objections. When you listen more to the reasons behind your customers’ objections, the easier for you to address them and improve your strategy.

It helps you lessen initial resistance from customers. When customers say that they don’t need your product or they don’t have time, you can use active listening to show that you are there to help with any problems they are currently experiencing.

It helps seal the deal. Customers have concerns that need to be heard, and when they feel they are listened to, the more likely they are to build a trusting relationship with you and the product you will sell.

Core Principles of Active Listening

Active Listening Course - Lesson Excerpt

Core Principles of Active Listening

As someone working in sales, you need to acquire different sets of skills to rise above the rest.

For instance, not only do you have to become an expert in the product you are selling, you also need to be keen at research and charismatic at speaking.

Asking the right questions

Once your customer is done speaking and after you’ve repeated or paraphrased their statements, it’s time for you to ask the right questions.

Confirm your understanding You can ask “Is that what you meant?” “Did I correctly understand what you just said?” If the answer is no, apologise and ask further: “Could you explain what I’ve missed?”

Ask open-ended questions Once on the same page, start asking open-ended questions that will prompt your customer to share their objections, concerns, and wants.

Close-ended vs. Open-ended Questions Close-ended questions like “Do you think our product can help you solve that problem?” will give them the feeling that you are only interested in making a sale. Open-ended questions allows them to express their own thoughts and come up with the right conclusions, including yours. Moreover, they prompt customers to give more information about their preferences, helping you improve your sales strategy. Here are some examples of open-ended questions: What concerns or worries do you have at the moment? What are you going to do to solve those issues? How can we help you address your concerns? What are your thought process behind that strategy? Can you tell us more why that matters? If you can get more assistance on that, how do you think it might help?

Developing active listening skills requires practice.

By putting in the time and effort in genuinely listening to others, you'll soon find yourself starting more conversations and be pleasantly surprised with the feedback you'll hear from your customers.

Listening for What’s Not Being Said

Active Listening Course - Lesson Excerpt

Listening for What's Not Being Said

If you only listen to what is being said by your customer, then chances are, you are missing half the story. For example, our body language can convey so much more than our words can.

Lack of direct eye contact, for instance, could mean resistance to attention, while a relaxed shoulder position could be interpreted as a sign of trust or open-mindedness.

Knowing how to interpret non-verbal cues will help us better understand how our customers’ brains work, increasing the chances that they’ll look at our offers in a favourable light.

These non-verbal cues — whether positive or negative — can be used to help you change your body language so that you can appear more positive, approachable and engaging. Let's take a look at some of the ways you can project the right non-verbal cues during active listening.

Always remember: Proceed with care when analysing your customers’ body language. While those tips on reading body language give us insights about how to interpret non-verbal cues, remember that it will not apply to everyone 100% of the time. You also need to take into consideration other factors such as culture and personal habits when decoding non-verbal communication.

Barriers to Active Listening

Active Listening Course - Lesson Excerpt

Barriers to Active Listening

Shift Response

To unlearn shift response, focus on using Support Response, which is to focus your attention to the speaker. Customer: I’m a little skeptic about Product X. Salesperson: Oh really? Can you tell me more about that? Customer: I’m just not sure it’s going to work for the team. Salesperson: I see. What specific aspect of Product X will your team find most challenging? Customer: I don’t think we have the right people who are knowledgeable enough to use it. Salesperson: If we can assist you with training one of your team members, how do you think it will help?

Which among these are examples of environmental distractions?

Which among these are examples of environmental distractions?

Which among these are examples of environmental distractions?

Mental Fatigue

Making an effort to listen requires mental effort, and since you will be giving large amounts of time, concentration and empathy, it can be mentally taxing too.

Moreover, there are also other emotional and psychological triggers. For instance, taking the back seat in the conversation requires suppressing our ego, which can be difficult for some.

To address these, remember the following:

Take a break from time to time

Keep your emotions in check

Educate yourself on common cognitive biases and learn ways to prevent them.

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Active Listening


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Course rating

I learned what I am doing wrong

It is indeed true that distractions, mental fatigue do affect the quality of our listening. Taking coffee breaks and elimination of noise can improve the quality of our listening skills

Inspiring,learnt some points

Very knowledgeable

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