Jul 09

How To Succeed In Sales: The Skills You Need

Everybody knows that there is not one person who is born a great salesperson. Those who have achieved in this field might make sales look like a walk in the park, but there is more than meets the eye. If optimal performance is registered, it indicates that a salesperson has invested adequate time to enhance their skills aiming at increasing their prospects. You cannot just wake up one morning and decide that you are the greatest salesperson of all time. This journey takes time, and most importantly, with consistency and aggressiveness to go out there and achieve the goals at hand.

What about technology?

In today’s world, there are technological advancements in every industry. We have seen this in the rise of companies investing in SEO and Pay Per Click. Technology has significantly changed and continues to do so, and this applies even to the world of sales, whether you are part of a small business or large company. The sales process has been revamped ranging from prospecting to closing big data, mobile, social and cloud technologies. The manner in which this has happened, no one would have expected three decades ago. Technology today has been embraced by different organisations that are aiming to maximize productivity, competitive advantage, as well as profitability.

It is easier to engage customers especially on social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and so on. Sales personnel can now shake hands with customers and engage them in a discourse that regards what they are selling. In doing so, this allows them to gain new insights that will culminate in a sale. Comparatively, social media has enabled salespeople to engage with millions of customers across the globe better than the conventional sales.

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Creating relationships with customers

As salespeople, you need to develop and cultivate formidable relations with your prospective customers. These relationships are essential in understanding the customer’s buying process. Strong customer relationships are critical in positioning yourself as the ultimate solution to the challenges of the prospective customer. Even though we are living in a world that is becoming more dominant on social media platform, the interpersonal skills still apply, especially if we are going to become the best salespeople. If sales personnel want to succeed in this field, he must have the ability to create a good relationship with the prospective client, discover what they need, ask the right questions and come up with creative solutions to the existing problems.

Becoming the modern day salesperson

If you are to succeed in the sales field to grow and generate more business, you have to incorporate both traditional and contemporary methods of sales training. You will not learn them in class or at work. Reading books and going for training is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. If you compare the demands of the time in which we are living plus with those of yesteryears, you can hardly take considerable time knowing none too well that you can take care of other things. Among the best salespeople that we have, there are those of us who can read a book or two, if time allows.

Sales comic stripDilbert

The skills required to succeed in sales

Now that we have tackled that side of the coin, why not flip it and see what we can do to become the best salespeople. The idea is to ensure that the modern day salesperson has what it takes to become great. Let us look at the functional skills that are essential to making a breakthrough in the world of sales. There are many skills that one can utilise to become the best salesperson of the modern times. Let us focus on five of them:

Aptitude for a narrative

Storytelling is arguably one of the best and useful tools to engage with people. If you are to become the best salesperson, you need to utilise these skills to the best of your knowledge. Come up with real-life stories that deal with issues and real cases. You do not just tell, but also create a relationship with your customer. You have to remember that there are no two sales pitches that are alike. Each is unique to the person you are dealing with. You have to engage with your potential customer at his level, empathize with them, and offer them solutions to their challenges.

Emotional intelligence

Nowadays, the world is living in a social age that transcends the social networks but incorporates social skills. For you to be among the best modern-day salespeople, you have to be a listener who understands what the prospective customer wants and needs. This skill is different from when salespeople were more of talkers than listeners were. If you learn to listen to your potential customer, then you will be able to formulate creative solutions that appeal to them.

It means you must take the time to research customers on social media platforms to understand more about their issues, personal interests, as well as professional duties. The research will help you get to know your prospective customers individually. Therefore, you will then be able to foster the best relationship. If you are assertive and can be a listener, your success in sales is guaranteed. The customer can acknowledge your effort.

Techno-savvy

Technology is revolutionising every industry and sales have not been left out. Every year, there are new tools for salespeople. As such, you must be able to differentiate between the tools that can benefit your course and the ones that are distracting. The idea is to have resources that are enhancing your bottom line. Remember that even though technology can be a good strategy for your sales, it can also contribute to the decrease in productivity. As a salesperson, you have to be knowledgeable about what works best for your sales process. You have to ensure that your ideas and attention are directed to where it counts as much.

Be empathetic with your customers

There are different places where we apply technology, but that does not rule out human interaction. Even though you would use a machine to determine the needs of a prospective customer, it will not replace the ability for interpersonal relations. Empathy is an ability that cannot be found in technology. It is inherent in us and can improve with practice. For those who may not understand what empathy means a person can understand and share the feelings of another person. The best part is, as a salesperson, you have people everywhere with repetitive tendencies. As such, you have to:

  • Making eye contact with everyone who comes to serve you is essential. Identify them with their names if you know them or they have a nametag. Eye contact also creates a sense of understanding.
  • If you are spending some time with friends, try to finds out about what excites them. At this point, you become a listener rather than a talker.

Empathy comicDilbert

Offer them creative solutions

If salespeople are to remain relevant in this field, they must offer innovative solutions to their prospective customers. If you can combine two different areas, aspects, or things into something new and original, then you are creative. To be a successful modern-day salesperson, you have to employ creativity to provide valuable solutions to the problems of your existing and prospective customers.

  • If you can practice creativity outside work, that will have a positive impact on your prowess in the sales industry. You need not be an artist to achieve this. To build your creative skills consider the following:
  • Listen to different interviews and podcasts that involve creative people. Pay close attention to the origin of their ideas. In doing so, it can motivate you to think more creatively on ways that you can come up with innovative solutions.
  • Join a class of art, foreign language, or cooking. This will stimulate your brains to think of new working ways. Joining any of these classes is a sure way of putting your creative skills to test, hone them, and apply them later during your sales pitch to prospective customers.

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These skills are essential if one has to make strides in becoming the best salesperson. Working together to achieve a dream means that the team has to be on the same page. They must also understand what goes into achieving the set sales goals. The above functional skills are very much applicable, whether one is working as a lone ranger or in a team. Combining the old and the new techniques will make one well established in the field.

Incorporating sales insights is also essential in delivering the much-needed success. The world today is comprised of informed buyers, which means the salesperson has to go beyond communicating what their product or service can do. Some salespeople might be struggling to know where to start, but the above skills form the cradle of becoming the best sales person there is. With the skills aforementioned, you can engage more customers effectively because you will be seeing the things that these customers do. To make successful sales, you must understand the needs of your customers.

You have to focus on the relationship that you form with your customer because it is a crucial connection tool. It makes the sales process more successful especially if you know your product well. Product knowledge is essential especially if you are looking to gain the confidence of your prospective buyer. Combine these skills, and your sales pitch will earn you more benefits. They are the tools for interacting with your customer and making sure that you are best placed to solve their problems. The determination is crucial, and a sense of respect for your customers will suffice.

About The Author

Ajay Chavda is the co-founder of Weboptimizers and has been involved with SEO for over 12 years. Between the digital properties and security forums he has managed, his articles have been read by approximately 50 million unique visitors.

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