At some point in your career, even if you’re not a salesperson, you’re going to have to sell something—whether it’s your idea, your team, or yourself. So how can you improve your sales skills, especially if you don’t pitch people often? What should you focus on first?
Getting comfortable with sales requires an understanding of what selling is. Selling often gets a bad rap as people tend to associate it with the familiar and often unappealing tactics used by car salesmen. But, it’s not about putting undue pressure on and talking incessantly to get the deal done—rather, selling is better characterized as persuading, inspiring, and leading.
Learning to become a skilled salesperson takes time, practice, and dedication to the trade. Some of the skills needed to be successful may come naturally, while others may not, so understanding the critical skills and how to master them will help get you on the path to being the best salesperson you can be.
Here are five critical sales skills that increase both professional opportunity and success:
- Interpersonal Skills: Listen, ask questions, and gather information with a positive attitude and a focus on the client’s needs and wants.
- Product Skills: The best salespeople are product and service experts.
- Knowledge Skills: Know what the industry and the competition are doing locally, nationally, and globally. Be ready to explain the importance of what you do and establish yourself as an expert.
- Organizational Skills: Time management and organization are essential. Make efforts to follow up with past clients and grow your current client base. Take time every day to learn new aspects of both sales and service.
- Self-Management Skills: Every day, come to work to work. Work a set game plan and be present for your clients and your team to help and serve. The best boss you can work for is you.
For more growth and opportunity, take Dale Carnegie Training courses whenever possible. Sales is a truly dynamic profession, but it is not for everyone. Have patience and commitment to grow—and don’t forget to document all your activities. Take one day at a time and grow in your success.