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Putting customers at ease by listening...

Putting customers at ease by listening... October 22, 2015 by Mike Henshaw

Once upon a time, there was a children's radio programme that always began with the words : "Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin…"

(Bonus points if you can tell me the name of the programme and what the years it ran from and to!)

So, my question is to you -  do you get your customers 'sitting comfortably' before you embark upon your sales presentation?  I use 'sitting comfortably' in a metaphorical sense since they could well be standing in your car showroom! - what I mean is at ease and confident that you have first of all listened to their needs, requirements, aspirations and available resources before trying to sell them anything.

The point I am making is that, nowadays, good salespeople often listen more than they talk in a sales conversation. They will ask probing questions and really listen for the answers and subtexts. They won't want to offer something that the customer really can't afford, or is not suited to their lifestyle, or extras that they don't need.

And by listening to your customers you actually get them to listen to you. Because when you do begin to talk, to make suggestions about what's good for them, your recommendations will be based upon insight and empathy.  So the customer will listen to what you have to say because you will be talking about something that’s relevant to and appropriate for them.

Of course in automotive training terms, we will know this as being part of customer ‘qualification’. Taking time to learn about your customers as well as about their motoring needs, is well recognised as the way to develop a good customer relationship. Remember also that it is the time spent here that determines sales success further along the sales channel. So, ask the right questions and listen carefully to what the customer says, then use the information to progress.

Of course, we can all get carried away with enthusiasm at times - and genuine, well informed enthusiasm about the virtues and benefits of the car or product you are selling will go a  long way.

But do be a good listener too.

For more help with sales techniques and the sales process, take a look at our online training platform at

You can access it 24/7 and you can count on personal email support from our consultants once you starting working on a course.


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