Six Essential Sales Skills is a guest post by Michelle Arios of bizdb.co.nz
Salespeople need certain skills in order to be masters of their professions. As it turns out, these same skills can help in many other areas of business. Some of them are even helpful for building stronger friendships. If you want to be a more dynamic person in both your personal and professional life, take a few hints from a great salesperson – they know how to succeed.
The first of six essential sales skills is that you need to be able to negotiate from both sides. Sometimes, others will try to talk you down. You might need to talk someone else down. A mastery of negotiation comes from knowing the way that both angles work together. When you know where the person you’re negotiating with is coming from, it’s easier to meet in the middle. This skill can help you get a better deal on your dream house, or even help you land that huge promotion.
2. Listening and Understanding
When you already know what you’re trying to get out of an interaction, it’s a little harder to listen. Some people spend a little too much time waiting for their turn to talk, and not nearly enough time listening to the important points. You could be undermining your own ideas when you aren’t properly listening. Maybe you have something better to bring to the table, or a new perspective you can offer someone. Wait until someone else is done speaking before you formulate what you’re going to say – things can go better than how you imagined.
3. Selling Your Personality
People buy you before they buy anything else – even if what you want them to buy is a pitch to become an investor in your new business, or information about why you’d be a great candidate for a job. If everything you have to offer is wonderful, people might not be as perceptive if you don’t strike a strong first impression. Open up a little bit before you get down to brass tacks.
4. Determining Value
Salespeople make deals because they’re willing to go the extra mile to demonstrate the value of what they’re selling. They can see clearly how something would fix a problem or fill a need for their customer or client. Learning to see that value is the origin of that skill. Use this skill to look at yourself. What value do you provide? What’s your strongest foot to put forwards? How do you enhance the lives of people around you? It could make you a star employee.
5. Knowing What Others Need (Even When They Don’t)
You could have the perfect solution, but you’re applying it to the wrong problem. A tailor doesn’t need a suit, and a baker doesn’t need a cake. It’s obvious enough that you shouldn’t provide someone with something that won’t be useful to them. But what about when they want something useful, and they’re not sure exactly what they’re looking for?
Always look from the outside in. If someone is looking for an answer to a symptom, they may miss the larger problem. By listening to everything they have to say, you’ll be able to ask more questions based on the information you’ve been given. That’s how you become a great problem solver.
6. Following Up
Check in! Following up is the final of six essential sales skills everyone should learn. After a salesperson successfully closes a deal, they call the person in a few days to see how things are going, and ask whether or not they need additional products or services. The follow up is what builds important relationships out of a deal or arrangement that may have been temporary. Follow up after interviews and networking opportunities, or even business meetings that seemed to go well.
Every interaction you have involves some kind of sale, even if it’s merely the sale of ideas. All sales involve some kind of exchange. By approaching things as a sale and using these six essential sales skills not just salespeople should master, you’re making sure you’re benefiting just as much as you’re being helpful.
Michelle Arios works as Marketing Assistant for BizDb.co.nz, writing for several online magazines and gaining experience in marketing. Whenever not working, she likes to catch up with the industry blogs or her favorite TV shows.