How to engage in a conversation with clients that would lead to sales?Part A: Lesson Plan
The specific group of learners
For this study the specific group of learners included the sales and marketing attaches attached to sales agent who deals with automobiles.
The training needs
The training meets the needs of knowledge how to pitch their sales to the potential customers as it was always difficult to pitch sales to potential automobile customers. Unlike in other markets where there was only one product in the automobile market there were different types of products that met various needs of the customers. Therefore it was necessary to train the new employees how to understand the customers during the initial conversation. It was important to train the trainees how to learn the needs of the customers and meet those needs by helping the customer to select a car that would meet their potential needs. The other need was to create confidence among the trainees to face client and to ask tough questions.
The overall aim of the whole learning
The overall aim of the learning was to equip the trainees with the sales knowledge on how to engage a conversation with clients that would lead to sales. The aim was to help the trainees to understand the potential client’s needs without first asking the price and the money that the customer has. The specific aims were to teach how to ask questions that lead to sales and how to keep from discussing price and discuss the value of automobile.
The learning outcomes are improved understanding of the sales concepts such as asking question and having discussion that make the customer understand the value of the automobiles that he or she is going to purchase.
Overall timeline of the session including the content heading and content
Table 1: Session and contentSessionContent IntroductionDefine pitching as the ability to convince the client by having appropriate words and information concerning the products. It is convincing the clients that the product has the capacity to meet the customer needs and wants. LecturesTeach clients about asking questions, pitching and asking client questions that will lead to closure of the sale.
Role playsOrganise trainees into pairs where one of them acts as a salesman and the other as client
Table 2:Mini lesson planTime durationLearning and development methodTrainer activityLearner participationAids and resources
0-1st minuteIntroductionDefine pitching as the ability to convince the client by having appropriate words and information concerning the products. It is convincing the clients that the product has the capacity to meet the customer needs and wants.Take notesPower point
1-5th minuteLecturesTeach clients about asking questions, pitching and asking client questions that will lead to closure of the sale.
Taking notesPower point
6-10th minuteRole play to identify of learningOrganise trainees into pairs where one of them acts as a salesman and the other as clientThe student will act as a salesman while the other students will act as the purchase with a certain budget and is looking for a car model that can fit within that model. Each student will have to act as a salesmen and a client. This will be done by organisation the students in groups of two. The student will act in front of the class.A classroom
11-12th minuteBrainstorm on potential questions to ask clientsAsk students the best type of questions to ask clients provide two questions they would ask a potential customer that would make them know the customer and the need that the customer has.The student to provide tow questions that they would ask potential automobile client.A handout with open ended questions that the sales man should ask clients 13 – 15th minute
Question and answersEvaluate students on their ability to ask questions that make the customers to explain their needs. They will also be valued on the basis of the answers and personal obtained from the client such as budget and the car model the client is looking for or the functionalities that the client is looking for in car.Students to fill in a form indicating what roles they have played and the questions they have formulated as well as comment what was interesting and what they have learned about the lesson.A notebook
The lesson will considered to be effective based on the students understanding of the sales concepts such as asking questions and having discussion that make the customer understand the value of the automobiles that he or she is going to purchase.Task B: Personal Reflection
This is a reflection on how I planned the lesson and the activities that were undertaken to teach students about executing good auto sales. Various knowledge and theories about theory of learning were employed in this research to ensure that the lesson was effective and it attained the research objectives of making the student understand how to execute good auto sales. The first part is the introductory section. The second part of this reflection reflects on the lesson plan and takes into the consideration the theory that was used in planning the lesson and the learning activities. The third section measured the effectiveness of the lesson. The fourth section reflects on what happened in the practice aspect of the lesson and what has been learnt from this experience.
Plan for the lesson and the theory taken into consideration
In planning for this lesson, I was aware of three learning theories which were the behaviourism, cognitivism and constructivism. The behaviourism holds that teaching should be behaviour oriented and it should make the learners to respond in a particular way through stimuli-response (Salsbury and Melinda, 2008). This means that the teachers should provide stimuli and condition the learners to respond to the stimuli in particular way. This means for instance hearing a door bell rising should lead to the response of opening the door (Fink, 2005). However this theory is mostly applicable in social and in behavioural training such as training soldiers and members of the discipline forces which was not the case for this lesson. Learning is assessed through drills and real life experiences.
The other learning theory that could be applied in learning is the cognitive theory. This theory holds that information can be retained in memory through deliberate cognitive activities such as memorising and doing mental exercises. The exercise should be enhanced through internal processing of information. The cognitive learning theory holds that learning is student based and should be examined through individual assessments.
The other learning theory that could be used in designing the lesson plan is the constructivism which holds that learning is based on the individual’s interpretation of the information and knowledge. It holds that there is no single way of interpreting and applying knowledge as each person has their own viewpoints and experiences that shape their world view (Mccrea, 2015). Therefore every individual is expected to act differently and to understand the provided knowledge distinctly from the other person. When using this theory the most applicable teaching methods included brainstorming, case studies, simulations or role playing, and problem based learning.
In my lesson the constructivism was used to impart knowledge to the students. The theory was preferred because the lesson focused on the sales training which was based on experiences of greatest salesmen. There was no given way of doing sales as different people had done it differently depending with the customers and the types of products and service that they were selling (Serdyukov and Ryan, 2008). Sales was also dependent on the types of customers as each type of customer had varying needs when purchasing an automobile as some wanted automobiles that were luxurious others wanted performance such as speed and acceleration. Other customers wanted low costs automobiles such hence price was the most significant consideration. Others wanted to conserve the environment and wanted vehicles that were environmentally friendly such as the hybrid vehicles. This meant for one to be a great salesmen they had first to understand the individual customer and then apply the knowledge that they have on selling on the individual customer (Salsbury and Melinda, 2008). Therefore constructivist approach was the most appropriate learning approach that could be employed in teaching the learners about good auto sales. When using this theory the learning activities included role playing and simulation activities that included simulating sales scenario and the type of conversations that occur between the potential customers and the salesmen (Salsbury and Melinda, 2008).
How the success of the lesson was assessed
The first way of assessing the effectiveness of the lesson was ensuring that the learning objectives were met. The learning objectives for this study were met. The first objective of this lesson was to ensure that the students understood how to ask questions that led to sales. The second objective was to ensure that the students learned how to discuss the value of the automobile rather than the price of the automobiles. The other way that the effectiveness of the lesson was identified was through participation of the students in the lesson activities (Zimmerman, 2015). All the students that were involved in the lessons activities retained more knowledge than those who were not involved. For instance one of the ways of ensuring that the students understood the lesson was asking them to participate in role playing where they will act as a salesman and client. Those who managed to ask the open ended questions that made the client to talk about themselves and the need that was to be met by the automobile were considered to have understood the lesson or the content for that learning. Also the students who discussed the value of the car more than the price were considered to have met the objective of the lesson. However, assessing the effectiveness of the lesson was difficult especially because the time allocated for the lesson was not adequate for all the students to participate in the role play. However, it ensured that each individual understood and learned to apply the selling techniques on their own individuals’ capacity based on the clients’ needs.
Activities during the practice and what I got from the practice
One of the things that happened during the practice is that the students were excited about the lesson activities. The students wanted to participate in formulating the appropriate questions that they should ask potential automobile clients. The activity was the most interesting part and each student participated in formulating questions that they would ask a potential customers. However some of the students who were not confident did not participate.
The other aspect that was interesting to the students was that of role playing. The students played according to social groups which made it interesting. Some of the client were tough and made the lesson exactly like what would happen to a car salesman. However those who were shy did not perform well in the role playing because they asked direct questions that could be answered fast (Skowron, 2010). On assessing the students based on their participants in role playing most of the confident students who were outgoing had better performance than the shy students. In the written test most of the student had better scores indicating that the information was highly retained by the students after the role play and simulation of a sales scenario (Zuiker, et al., 2016). The students were also happy and excited because they were actively involved in the lesson.
Based on this experience the most important thing I have learnt is that the students have the capacity to learn on their own with minimal guidance. I noted that to be effective the teacher should incorporate more doing activities in the lesson because they helped the student to apply knowledge in real life situation other than having theoretical knowledge only. However, the time allocated for the lesson was not enough to include more activities in the lesson plan.
The reflection has echoed the learning that has been accrued during the preparation of the lesson plans. The exercise has helped me to put into use theories of learning employed in teaching. I have noted that each theory applies in different scenario based on the subject being taught. I have noted that involvement of the student in real life activities through role playing and simulation was effective especially in teaching studies that required application of knowledge in strict life situation like selling to customers who are different and need differing products.References
Fink, D. L. (2005) Integrated course design. Manhattan, KS: The IDEA Center.
Mccrea, P. (2015) Lean Lesson Planning: A practical approach to doing less and achieving more in the classroom. Brighton: Teacherly.
Salsbury, E. and Melinda, S. (2008) Lesson Planning: A Research-Based Model for K-12 Classrooms. Alexandria, VA: Prentice Hall.
Serdyukov, P. and Ryan, M. (2008) Writing Effective Lesson Plans: The 5-Star Approach. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Skowron, J. (2010) Powerful Lesson Planning: Every Teachers Guide to Effective Instruction. 10th edn. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Zimmerman, B. (2015) ‘Self-Regulated Learning: Theories, Measures, and Outcomes’, International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, pp. 541-546.
Zuiker, S., Anderson, K., Jordan, M. and Stewart, O. (2016) ‘Complementary lenses: Using theories of situativity and complexity to understand collaborative learning as systems-level social activity’, Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 9(11), pp. 80-94