Recently a survey was carried out in a group I belong to on the top skills a sales person should possess. From my experience in sales across different industries and selling different products with noble success and also training sales teams to succeed; here are the five selling skills that I believe would make you stand out if you master them:
- Active listening: this is the process of not just hearing what the prospective customer is saying, but being able to clearly identify his trail of thought and interject properly. Active listening is indicating that you are paying attention to what the customer is saying because it is important to you. When you demonstrate active listening, you encourage your prospect to speak more and open up to you further.
- Rapport building: the ability to build relationships is an important skill in selling. The popular saying; people don’t care how much you know; until they know how much you care also applies to your prospective customer. When you meet with a prospect, spend some time connecting with them on non-business related issues, this would engender trust and make it easy for you to discuss business.
- Quick understanding: your prospect feels more confident in your ability when you demonstrate that you understand their needs. You exhibit this by responding to them with intelligence and reiterating their needs to them clearly so that it shows that you have listened to them properly and can provide a solution to their problems.
- Effective articulation: the ability to express yourself clearly and represent your products and organization confidently is one of your most important skills. You can improve your articulation skills by becoming knowledgeable about your products and rehearsing before you make any presentation. The most experienced speakers and sales people still rehearse their sales pitch to ensure it is clear and effective, so never feel you know it all, keep improving your articulation.
- Responsiveness: if you have exhibited the 4 skills above, it is most likely that the client is ready to proceed to the next stage with you. Your ability to move along in the sales cycle is vastly determined by your responsiveness. Let the client know that you are serious about their business by responding swiftly to any requests. If you need to send a proposal, quotation or invoice, send it on time and follow up immediately.
Remember you are the one who wants the business and like I wrote in the last article (read here); Always Be Closing!
Cheers to standing out as you apply these skills.