Every sales person has a different approach when making a sales call. Individual approaches are important; they’re what help you relate to a customer on a human level. However, studies show there are certain selling skills that are common among all sales reps, otherwise known as the seven essential selling skills every sales person should know.
1. Communication Skills
If you’re a sales person, this skill might seem self-evident, but too many sales reps don’t take the time to develop their communication skills, choosing instead to rely on a script to get them through conversation. While a script can be a useful part of the sales call, the ability to veer off script and communicate with the customer effectively is imperative. Every customer is different; the same script won’t work on everyone and there are times when you may need to bring out your communication skills to close a deal.
2. Active Listening Skills
An important part of effective communication is active listening. That means allowing the customer to express their needs and concerns and then taking steps to address those concerns in your own response. When you employ active listening, you’re much better equipped to tailor your pitch in a way that will appeal to the customer. Listening is also a great way to build trust, and trust is essential for closing deals.
3. Persuasive Skills
In order to truly excel in this industry, you need to have great persuasive selling skills. Customers are bombarded with advertisements and pitches on a regular basis; you need to know how to convince them that your product or service is worthy of investment. Being good at persuasion can mean a variety of things, including being able to turn negatives into positives and being sincere about what you’re selling.
4. Collaboration Skills
We have a tendency to think of a sales person as a lone wolf–someone who works independently to close deals. However, being able to collaborate with others and learn from your fellow sales reps can be an invaluable asset as you develop your career.
There are a variety of ways in which collaboration can aid your growth; another sales person might have dealt with a situation you’ve yet to encounter, or they may be able to share alternative strategies with you that can improve your game. Learning to collaborate with your coworkers can help everyone.
5. Self-Motivating Skills
This last strategy involves more than just the sales team—it also involves management. All too frequently, there can be a disconnect between upper management and sales reps, with management not fully appreciating the struggles that sales reps are encountering on a day-to-day basis. If you seriously want to challenge your sales team, you may need to solicit feedback on what they believe is preventing them from doing their best work. Their answers may surprise you, while also giving you a real opportunity to make innovating and advantageous changes.
6. Problem Solving Skills
A sales person will encounter hundreds, if not thousands, of objections during the course of their career. There will be the routine objections that you become used to, alongside more unique reasons why customers are not willing to invest.
While you’ll never be able to completely eliminate objection, there are ways to minimize the amount of rejection you face throughout the day. Problem solving skills are selling skills when it comes to learning to meet apprehension head on and find creative solutions.
7. Negotiation Skills
With an increasing amount of competitors vying for customer attention, negotiation has become an expected part of sales. Customers anticipate that they will be able to negotiate with their sales person, which means that sales reps need to come to the negotiation table ready to negotiate.
Great negotiation skills don’t entail conceding unnecessarily; the skilled negotiator knows how to find solutions that work for both parties, resulting in a win-win scenario that keeps everyone satisfied.
About the Canadian Professional Sales Association
Since 1874, we’ve been developing and serving sales professionals by providing programs, benefits, and resources that help you sell more, and sell smarter.
Contact us today at MemberServices@cpsa.com or 1-888-267-2772 to see how we can help you and your team reach new heights in sales success.
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