Epictetus said it best: “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Regional Sales Manager, Mr. Daryl Hensley, recently took time in-between traveling to discuss how the art of communication and listening can directly impact success in the field of sales. Throughout his almost 30-year career in sales management, Mr. Hensley has learned many fascinating details about how to succeed through proper business communication. In this educational interview, Mr. Hensley stresses the importance of modifying business reports and professional writing for meeting the customer’s expectations. Many aspects of success correlate directly to customer relationships and as seen below, these relationships are built upon the foundation of exceptional listening and communication skills.
Mr. Daryl Hensley, Regional Sales Manager with BioFit Engineered Products
What is your professional history (including your timeline and roles?)
Mr. Hensley: “I started off in sales in the late 1980s as a salesman for an office furniture company named Hamilton Sorter. Then in 1990, I was promoted to Sales Manager. In 1994, I took a position as Regional Sales Manager and I remained in that position within the Office Furniture industry until 2005. Then, I was offered National Sales Manager for a different company in 2005. I left that company in 2007 and went to Ergogenesis as a Regional Sales Manager until 2014. Now, I am a Regional Sales Manager for BioFit Engineered Products out of Findlay, OH. My territory includes most of the Eastern U.S. from New York to Miami.”
What writing advice do you have for professional communicators?
“Be sure to read a lot to increase vocabulary, be concise with your point, and respect the reader’s time.”
What is your one pet peeve when it comes to professional writing?
Mr. Hensley: “The overuse of pronouns. Using ‘we’ too many times instead of the company name or using ‘he/she’ instead of the person’s name.”
What type of business reports do you read and/or compose regularly?
Mr. Hensley: “I compose meeting summaries, salesperson activity reports, training material, read and write sales plans on a regular basis.”
What are you writing suggestions to make that type of report successful?
Mr. Hensley: “Ask the reader how they want to data formatted; how do they want the data to flow; and try to meet their expectations”
What speaking advice do you have for professional communicators?
Mr. Hensley: “Whenever you speak, be non-political, respect the listener’s time, and be sure to engage your audience with questions.”
Name one thing you wish you had known about business communication before your professional career?
“I would say, it’s always best to be well-prepared and well-practiced.”
After assessing the Burning Glass list of Baseline Skills (2016), which skills not in the top 5 would you move into the top 5…and why?
Mr. Hensley: “I would move listener #23 for the Sales category to the top 5. ‘God gave you two ears and one mouth. You should listen twice as often as you speak.’ Listening is very important in the sales field to meet your customer’s expectations.”
Credit: Burning Glass Technologies
What team skills do you feel young professionals need the most?
Mr. Hensley: “Have a positive disposition, humility, creativity, open-mindedness, and a servant attitude to everyone else on the team.”
From the interview, one can see that Daryl Hensley has had significant experience with business communication. From meeting the public during tradeshows to composing training material for his team, his ability to communicate professionally has opened many doors for success. He emphasized the importance of being concise, respecting your audience’s time, and listening to the customer to meet their expectations. However, success in the business realm means not only having great communication skills but also exceptional listening skills. Being able to tailor pertinent information to meet the client’s needs is a clear example of how listening can impact the quality of customer relationships.
Daryl Hensley Biography
Daryl Hensley was born and raised near Cincinnati, OH where he attend Northwest High School. After graduation, he was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army from 1978-1982. From there, he came back to his hometown and started working for an office furniture company named Hamilton Sorter. He moved up into sales in the late 1980s beginning his trek into sales management. Though Daryl Hensley has become an expert in sales management within the Office Furniture industry. He considers his true expertise to be problem solving, the art of persuasion, and his ability to lead by example. He has received many accolades including Sales Person of the Year, Regional Sales Manager of the Year, and National Sales Manager of the Year. However, the part of his career he enjoys most is teaching other salespeople how to be successful. When he is not out training his team, he can be found at various trade shows in the Eastern US representing BioFit Engineered Products.
Daryl Hensley can be found on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daryl-hensley-7644958
Nina Mathies is a non-traditional student at the University of Southern Indiana. She is pursuing an Accounting certificate through the Post-Baccalaureate program. She resides in Jasper, IN where she currently works as a Physical Therapist Assistant but will be moving into the business realm post graduation in December 2020. Click here for her LinkedIn profile.