Sales Manager's Toolkit: Improve Interactions

What can you do to improve interactions between yourself and your team members?

Successful communication is central to the effectiveness of your team, or organisation as a whole, through the transferring of clear messages and ideas between team members towards a common goal.

Here are some tips for achieving successful communication within your team:

1. Adjust to the world of the receiver
Try to predict the impact of what you are going to say or write on the receiver’s feelings and attitudes. Tailor the message to fit the receiver’s vocabulary, interests and values where possible.

2. Use feedback
Ensure you get a message back from the receiver which tells you how much has been understood.

3. Use face-to-face communication
Wherever possible talk to people rather than write to them as it is a prime opportunity to receive feedback and it enables you to change or adjust your message in accordance with their reactions. This is particularly true when delivering criticism.

4. Use reinforcement
You may have to present your message in a number of different ways to get it across. Re-emphasise the important parts and follow-up.

5. Use simple, direct language
This may seem obvious but many people clutter up what they say with jargon, long words and elaborate sentences.

6. Stick to your word
Communications must be credible in order to be effective. There is nothing worse than promising the earth then under-delivering. When you say you are going to do something – do it and you are more likely to be believed in the future.

7. Keep it casual
If you can, reduce the number of levels of management and encourage a reasonable degree of informality in communications.

8.) Listen, listen and listen some more
There are many good writers and speakers but very few good listeners. Listening is an art that very few people possess, however good listening ability is directly linked to building better rapport and a clearer understanding of what’s being communicated.

Criteria for Effective Listeners

  • Concentrate on the speaker and all their verbal and non-verbal cues
  • Respond positively to the points made by the speaker
  • Ask questions to ensure understanding and clarity
  • Where appropriate, reflect back certain points made by the speaker
  • Make notes on the key points even if the notes are not referred to later
  • Listen at all times to the nuances of what the speaker is saying
  • Do not slump in your chair but lean forward and show positive body language
  • Be prepared to let the speaker go on with a minimum of interruption

If you find the toolkit useful and would like to find out more about how we can help improve performance, sales and profitability at your dealership, please contact Declan Gaule on 01308 802030 or email