Top 11 Sales Skills Any Sales Rep Must Have to Succeed

Top 11 Sales Skills Any Sales Rep Must Have to Succeed - Elevate Corporate Training

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If you want to be successful in sales, you need to learn the sales skills that can lead prospects to act.  As you gain experience in sales and establish yourself as a sales professional, keep in mind these 11 sales skills that will increase your sales performance.

What Makes A Good Salesperson?

When people first start in sales, they assume the job is about making the cash register ring.  In reality, it’s about creating the right atmosphere for sales to occur by demonstrating how your product or service solves a fundamental problem your customer has. Great salespeople know it takes looking inward first.

1. Positivity

It starts with having a positive attitude.  When you truly believe in what you’re doing, you will be more effective. 

If you’re not naturally a positive person, you’ll need to learn how to put the complaining and commiserating aside.  People respond more favourably to positive energy.  Enthusiasm is contagious. 

“For every sale you miss because you’re too enthusiastic, you will miss a hundred because you’re not enthusiastic enough.”

Zig Ziglar

2. Product Knowledge

The fastest way you can trip up on a sales call is when you’re asked an important question about your products or services and you don’t have the answer.  Know your product mix inside and out so that this doesn’t happen to you.

If you do run into a situation where a prospect asks a highly technical question or something you don’t know, be honest and let them know you’ll find out and get the answers back to them quickly.

“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”

Stephen Covey

3. Customer Knowledge

To be an effective seller, you have to understand your customer’s problems and pain points.  It’s only then you can provide solutions that will matter to the customer.

Learn what you can about the customer before you make the first contact.  Research their company, their industry, and adjust your approach to fit their needs.

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”

Peter Drucker


4. Communication Skills

It doesn’t matter how good your product is if you can’t effectively communicate with a prospect.  You’ll need to develop effective verbal and written communication skills.

Top 11 Sales Skills Any Sales Rep Must Have to Succeed - Elevate Corporate Training

However, it’s not just about selling products or services, it’s about selling yourself.  Sales don’t happen without trust.  You need to establish a connection with a prospect and sell yourself before they’ll believe what you’re telling them.

“The best way to sell yourself to others is first to sell the others to yourself.”

Napoleon Hill

5. Listening Skills

Most salespeople are comfortable talking in front of prospects.  Not all of them are as good at listening.  Active listening demonstrates interest and responsiveness.  Great salespeople learn to look for the subtle clues in what people say.  What you learn from listening can help frame your approach.

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.”

Bryant H. McGill

6. Time Management

There are so many distractions throughout the day.  Between emails, calls, paperwork, and follow-up, it can be easy to lose track of what’s important.

It’s important to organise your day to focus on the important tasks as a priority.  Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you’re being productive.

“Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.”

Jim Rohn

7. Discipline

Discipline goes hand-in-hand with time management.  It takes discipline to stay focused on your goals.

When your attention starts to stray, remember what is most important to you.  It’s not just about selling something or hitting a quota.  It’s about keeping top of mind your personal goals.  When you’re successful, you can take care of your family, make your mortgage payment, or perhaps take a better vacation.

“Discipline is remembering what you want.”

David Campbell

8. Relationship Building

The best sales typically come from the best relationships.  Once trust has been established, it’s much easier to move prospects to convert.

If your competitors are building better relationships with your prospects, your job just got twice as difficult.

“If you are not taking care of your customer, your competitor will.”

Bob Hooey

9. Storytelling

Facts and features are great.  Being able to demonstrate the benefits of your product or service is better.

Which do you think will connect better with a customer?  Details about your brand new product that’s 5 times better than your competitors or how another business just like theirs increased their sales?

“There is no sale without the story; no knockout without the setup.”

Gary Vaynerchuk

10. Dealing with Objections

What makes a good salesperson?  Overcoming objections.  No matter how good you are at sales, you won’t get to a sale without clearing objections. 

Sales training can help you proactively handle objections by dealing with them ahead of time in your presentation.  By tackling common objections early on, you can focus your energy on specific client concerns.  Brainstorm potential objections and practice how to overcome them.

Top 11 Sales Skills Any Sales Rep Must Have to Succeed - Elevate Corporate Training

Role play with your managers or colleagues.  Have them listen to your presentation and bring up any objections they can think of.  They can also help you practice sales techniques to overcome these objections.  The first time you hear an objection should not be in front of a client.

“Obstacles are necessary for success because in selling, as in all careers of importance, victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats.”

Og Mandino

11. Closing Skills

As a sales professional, you need to understand your customer’s needs, demonstrate how your product or service fills that need, and overcome the list of objections.  If you’ve done that, you’re ready to close.  Too many salespeople do everything right until they get to the finale:  closing the sale. 

If you’ve done everything to get to this point, you’ve simply got to ask for the sale.  It’s okay to push.  When you hear no, diagnose the true objection, address it, and then ask for the sale again.

Improving Your Sales Performance

Sales training will teach you these fundamental sales techniques and selling skills that will improve your sales performance.  It takes a commitment to learning and the sales experience to put them into action.

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