Active Listening Exercise for Your Next Sales Training Event

Looking for the perfect active listening exercise for your next sales training event?

We’ve got one for ya!

At CFS, we are big believers in group training activities. An effective active listening exercise accomplishes three things:

  1. It fosters collaboration.

Sales can often be a very solo gig. Salespeople that are used to doing their own thing are a great fit for activities that encourage team building.

In her article 5 Sales Team Building Activities for a Winning Culture, Elizabeth points out that “a team with a healthy winning culture is able to achieve more than a team that’s always competing.”

  1. It puts salespeople in their buyer’s shoes.

Over the years we’ve learned just how easy it is for salespeople to forget about their buyers. That’s not to say that salespeople don’t care about their buyers. But as humans, it’s not always easy to put ourselves into other people’s shoes.

The active listening exercise shared below puts salespeople directly in the position of their buyers. They are able to see exactly what it feels like to be the buyer—and understand exactly how it feels to be ignored.

  1. It puts salespeople in action.

There’s no better way to inspire action than to be active.

The active listening exercise below puts salespeople in action. When they experience what it’s like to be their buyer by acting like their buyer, it encourages salespeople to immediately jump into action with future clients.

Active Listening Exercise for Your Next Sales Training Event

Now that the outcome of this active listening exercise has been highlighted, it’s time to try it out!

Check out this video from our last sales training event where Charles implemented this activity. Then scroll down for directions on how to direct this active listening exercise during your next training.

Active Listening Exercise Steps

Round One

Step 1: Assign Partners

Assign each salesperson with a partner. Or, have each salesperson choose their own partner.

The goal here is two partners: one to speak, one to listen. So be sure to assign one partner as “A” and the other partner as “B.”

Step 2: Assign Tasks

Give each partner a task.

Partner “B” is the speaker. Their task is to share something they are passionate about. That’s right, anything!

However, you might want to disclaimer your group to keep it PC (and possibly avoid things like politics).

Partner “A” is the listener. Their job is to do everything possible to ignore “A” completely. That’s right! Partner “A”s assignment is to try as hard as possible to hear nothing that Partner “B” has to say.

Step 3: Time the Exercise

Set your timer for 90 seconds… and go!

Step 4: Reflect

Now that the activity has ended, it’s time for your team to reflect on it. Ask the group how they felt during the exercise and open the room up for discussion.

Round Two

Now it’s time to try it again with different criteria!

Step 1: Assign Partners

We recommend keeping the partners the same for part two. So both “A” and “B” partners will remain paired and will still identify as whatever designation they were the first time around. So “A” is still “A” and “B” is still “B.”

Step 2: Assign Tasks

This time, the tasks have changed slightly.

Partner “B” is still the speaker. Their task is once again to share something their passionate about.

Partner “A” is still the listener. But this time their task is to listen to “B”s story like it’s the most wonderful, amazing stuff they’ve ever heard in their life.

Step 3: Time the Exercise

Set your timer for 90 seconds… and go!

Step 4: Reflect

Now that the activity has ended, it’s time for your team to reflect on it. Ask the group how they felt during the exercise and open the room up for discussion.

Be sure to note the difference between the two rounds

And the final step… share your experience with us! We’d love to hear your results after trying this active listening exercise out. Comment below and let us know how it worked for your team.

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By | 2016-10-31T14:10:53+00:00 November 1st, 2016|Sales Leaders|2 Comments

About the Author:

Rebecca Smith is the Marketing Manager at Criteria for Success. She writes about sales, sales leadership, social selling best practices, time management, and anything related to helping others discover success. Be sure to say hi on Twitter!

2 Comments

  1. Barry Hall November 1, 2016 at 11:17 am - Reply

    Great content from Rebecca ans Charles.

    • Rebecca Smith November 14, 2016 at 3:19 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Barry!! 🙂

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