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10 Basic Skills for being a Successful Sales Person
During my study at the Management Institute, I had a clear thought of making my career into Sales. It was just because of the fact that “I can speak sense”. But is it the only skill required to be the Best Salesman? I got the answer to my question at my first job - there are a lot other attributes needed to be The Best. What are the skills needed, to be a successful salesperson? I consulted one of my favorite professors (of Marketing ) to get a clear picture on grooming my selling abilities. Out of the Gyan received from him and reading some of the articles/books, I got convinced that techniques and methods of sales are teachable to anyone who has the desire to learn. However, there are a few natural skills that should already exist within those who want to be successful in sales.Without these, success will be minimal and the job will be often very stressful.
Below are the skills required to be, best among the herd of successful Sales people (I have tried to condense the skills to sell either a Product/Service):
1. Effective Communicator
Communication covers a large territory. I am not talking about superb orator skills here, but the ability to speak clearly and in a manner that is easy to understand. Sales is all about talking to people and getting them to understand what you are trying to communicate.
2. Ability to Listen
Along with speaking, a great salesperson knows when to stop talking and listen. They never cut someone off while they are talking, because in doing so they would fail to hear a key element in identifying what that person's needs might be.
3. Asks Questions
Salespeople are naturally inquisitive and know that in order to isolate what the real need or desire is in the buyer, they need to ask questions that will lead them to the answer. They naturally ask questions because they have a desire to help solve the problem.
4. Problem Solver
Another natural skill is the desire and ability to solve problems. Great salespeople are always solving problems. The ability to hone in on what the buyer's problem is and offering suggestions that will effectively solve the issue with respect to what products or services you sell, generally results with a sale.
5. Well Organized
I am not necessarily mentioning about the personal surroundings, but more with the thoughts and methods of planning. Sales people have a keen ability to break things down into smaller steps and organize a plan of action. They know how to analyze what their goal is and in what order the steps need to be in order to reach the goal.
6. Self-Starter and Self-Finisher
A successful sales person moves forward on his own. They never need anyone to tell them when it is time to go to work because they know that if they do not work, they will not earn. They are also very persistent to finish what they start. They achieve their goals, even if they are small ones.
7. Positive Self Image
Having the attitude that they can do just about anything that they put their mind to, is usually very common among sales people. They do not tremble or quake from meeting or talking to people or try something new. They rarely allow negatives that are either spoken to them or about them to affect what they are trying to accomplish because they know who they are and what they are capable of doing.
8. Well Mannered and Courteous
The best sales people are very well mannered. Others may not realize it, but good manners are a way of showing respect to others. People are attracted to those that respect them and mutual respect is fundamental in building lasting relationships with people, including buyers.
9. Naturally Persuasive
Another very common inherent skill with great salespeople is that they are very persuasive or know how to get what they want. They focus on what they want and they are persistent to keep chipping away until they get what they want. They almost never give up or give in.
10. Know your Product/Service (Domain Expertise)
This is one of the main requisite to sell anything to anybody. A good salesperson knows in and out of a product/service very well. Customers/Buyers are interested to know all the possible solutions that a product can suffice, because you can convince someone to buy something, if you know everything about it. The Point of caution here is, when a sales person is presenting about a product/service; he/she would always camouflage as a Product/Service Specialist role ratherthan urging to sell something (using more of a sales tone).
These skills may be not be the exhaustive list for a Successful Sales person, but are definitely the key drivers that a Sales person should posses. As I mentioned in the initial paragraph, there are a few natural skills that should already exist within those who want to be successful in selling.
Just for those who are interested to learn more on the tactical selling abilities from real life experiences and how a non-sales person carved success for himself by selling Cars, is “How to Sell anything to anybody” by Joe Gerard.