Practical Application: Assessing Communication Skills for Sales Professionals

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Proper communication skills are an essential component for a successful career as a sales professional. In this exercise, you can analyze and grade your own skills and find ways to improve.

Being a Good Communicator

Being a good communicator is important, whether you are chatting with a child's teacher, talking to a friend over dinner or communicating with colleagues at work. When it comes to a career as a sales professional, however, your ability to communicate in professional conversations and even disagreements becomes that much more significant.

Do you know how effective your communication skills are as a sales professional? Are there areas you've neglected or things you need a refresher on to be the best you can be? That's what this exercise is designed to test.

Communication Assessment

For the assessment below, choose how you would respond to each statement: always, often, sometimes, rarely, never. Use the following key to score each response, and then tally your total points at the end.

Answer Points
Always 5
Often 4
Sometimes 3
Rarely 2
Never 1

Read through the following statements and ask yourself how you fare:

Statement Points
I can typically recall a person's name after the first conversation I have with them.
I maintain eye contact during a conversation so the other person knows I'm interested in what they have to say.
I ask people open-ended questions to try to learn more about them or their situation.
I easily find opportunities to give people sincere and genuine compliments during a conversation.
People tell me I put them at ease with my friendly body language and pleasant tone.
I can anticipate when a person is becoming agitated or upset and diffuse the situation.
I avoid words like ''always'' or ''never'' when a conversation becomes tense or heated.
I block out all other distractions when I'm engaged in a conversation with someone.
I am able to get straight to the point of what I want to say instead of beating around the bush.
When someone is talking, I engage in active listening instead of thinking of my next response.
I can mirror the mood and tone of my voice to match the person I am speaking with.
I am able to put myself in the other person's shoes and consider their point of view.
When someone else is talking, I pay close attention to their body language, not just their message.
When talking to someone else, I speak clearly to avoid confusion and misunderstanding.
I add appropriate gestures and facial expressions when I'm talking to others.
I consider my audience before speaking and try to adjust my message accordingly.
I refrain from interrupting others when it is their turn to speak.
People are generally receptive to my ideas and what I have to say.
When talking to someone else, I try to find commonalities or shared interests to discuss.
I can remain calm when talking with someone who doesn't agree with me or see my point of view.
Total Points:

Assessment Results

Check the guide below to analyze your final score.

75-100 points: You do a good job expressing your point of view in a friendly and approachable way, while also staying engaged when listening. You are able to handle both positive and potentially negative conversations in a constructive way. Continue to work on displaying and understanding the significance of body language, which can say more about a conversation than the words being used. Remember that successful conversations are a give and take between participants.

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