Telephone Selling Training Course – What is the difference between listening and hearing?

Selling on the telephone is very different from face-to-face sales and a telesales team require a specific set of skills and techniques if they are to be successful. It is not enough just to give them a contact list and tell them to ‘get on with it’. Successful results in telephone sales is a by product of successful telesales training.

We, at Total Success Training Ltd are always being asked if our Telephone Sales Training Courses and Telemarketing Seminars teach techniques ‘that really work’ in the real world’. The answer to that question is ‘YES’ because our trainers not only train sales techniques but have actually sold over the telephone in previous jobs. They are able to use their experience to train our delegates to understand the tools and techniques that will enable them to sell confidently and with flair.

We have over 20 years of sales training expertise and use our experiences to show the best and most practical ways to boost sales results and how to sell effectively.

Introduction to Selling, Telesales, Negotiation skills and Presentation Skills are some of the sales related courses trained by Total Success Training  throughout the UK.  If you require further information on our training courses please contact us.


Active listening means moving from a passive acceptance of what customers say to an empathetic response.  Listening involves not only receiving sounds but accurately understanding their meaning. It means being sensitive to vocal clues.


It creates a rapport; you are more likely to develop a good relationship with your customers if they feel that you have understood them. Listening accurately is one way you can build your position as an “influencer”.  It helps you to be perceived as competent and trustworthy. It helps people to talk. Good listening helps your customers feel that you have understood and accept what they are saying. If your customers are to feel that you are listening attentively, you need to develop the ability to “get inside their skins”. Listen carefully and allow customers the time to tell you what they want in their own terms.



Verbal signals                         Typical verbal signals are ‘yes’, ‘uh huh’, ‘OK’, ‘fine’, ‘I see’, ‘I understand’.


Seek clarification                    Ask questions if you are uncertain during a call.


Reflecting                               It can help to reflect or echo the customer’s feelings.  This type of response lets the customer know that you have really listened to what has been said.  Reflection does not mean that you necessarily agree with what has been said, just that you have listened carefully.


Summarise                              It helps to summarise key points as you go through the call.


Take notes                              Don’t try to write everything down!  Make a note of the key points; they will help to jog your memory as the call progresses.


Concentrate                            Focus your attention solely on the call.  Try to avoid distractions; don’t allow others to interrupt you when you are taking a call.


Vocal clues                             Listen to how something is said as well as to what is said.  Sometimes vocal clues come over loud and clear, at other times you may have to listen very hard. As, for example, when a customer expresses agreement or satisfaction in a flat monotonous voice.

The Three Levels of Listening

LEVEL 1                 Empathetic Listening

You refrain from judging the speaker and place yourself in the speaker’s position. You attempt to see things from their point of view. You do not allow yourself to be distracted and give your full attention. It requires you to show that you are listening using verbal signals.

LEVEL 2                 Hearing Words

At this level you stay at the surface of communication and do not understand the deeper meanings of what is being said. You try to hear what the customer is saying but do not really understand what the customer intends to say. You listen logically but are more concerned with content than feeling. You remain emotionally detached from the conversation. This kind of listening is most likely to cause misunderstandings. It may not be obvious that you are not listening and therefore the customer may be lulled into thinking that you have understood.

LEVEL 3                 Intermittent Listening

You tune in and out of a conversation more aware of yourself than the customer.  You follow the conversation waiting to get a chance to talk yourself. Often listening at this level involves faking attention while you think of unrelated matters.  Perhaps you are thinking of what you will say next, forming a come-back response or making a judgement.

Most people listen at all three levels during the course of a day.  Try to make listening at Level 1 in all situations your goal.



This is the critical part of the sale as you should be aware of all the needs/problems of the customer and be able to sum them up in a few short phrases. Although this seems like a short and non-significant part of the sale it is vital to sum up what your customer has disclosed so that you are confident in progressing to the next phase of the sale. Don’t assume you know what the customer needs until you relay back to them what you understand those needs to be.

Summarising is key to need-finding and objection handling as you are clarifying with the customer the position in the sale, and assessing your next step and chances of success. It also shows that you are truly listening to your customer. Typical summary statements are:

Let me see if I’ve got that…….

So what you’re saying is……..

That’s interesting; you need to achieve……… and ………. within the next year. Is that correct?

If I hear you correctly you need us to ……….

Let me see if I understand what you are saying. You need deliveries every month not every quarter. Correct?

Just to check if I’ve got this right, you’re looking for a cost effective advertising programme which will target the key decision makers in your area. This will enable them to discover the unique points of your new process and get more of them calling you instead of your competitors. Is that correct?

Only when you have this commitment from them is it safe to proceed onto the next step. Failure to get a “Yes” could mean you going down the wrong path when you start to present your products features and benefits.

Who will benefit from the course?

This course is designed to give both new and experienced telesales professionals the confidence to approach, appoint, present to and close potential customers. Delegate numbers are limited to no more than eight to allow an environment where the maximum learning can be achieved. We use a combination of learning methods but place emphasis on role-play reinforcement of real life situations based on products and services relevant to the delegate’s organisation.

Our training is carried out in a risk free environment which encourages delegates to practice the skills needed for successful appraisals. We use a number of training methods including role-play, video, audio, workshops and group exercises to enhance the learning process.

Course Dates

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In-Company Courses

Total Success have developed a series of in-house training modules. These are designed so that an organisation can pick the training which is more applicable to its own needs and budget. Please call us to discuss your specific requirements

Total Success Training Packs

Why use a total success training pack

If you are looking to run your own training course but lack the materials and the time to develop a fully functional training seminar we produce a range of training materials and packs which will suit your requirements exactly. All of our packs and been written by our own training experts and we can guarantee that the training pack will satisfy your course requirements. Each pack will contain a full set of PowerPoint training slides, trainer’s notes, a course manual, and a full set of handouts and activities.

We have been running our courses since 1995 and have trained 1000’s of people via open courses and in-company seminars. We guarantee that the course you buy is the one we train. All courses are trainer and trainee friendly so you’ll be up and running quickly (depending on your training experience).

We know how difficult it is to choose amongst the many training materials available on line, that’s why we have 3 packages that will suit you needs. With our gold, silver and bronze packages you can choose the training format that’s right for you and your budget. Call us 0044 (0)208 269 1177 to discuss your requirements or email us

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