I have always believed Sales to be a primary skill everyone should have. A skill that should be taught to us from the very moment we learn the difference between right and wrong, imbibed into our primary, secondary and tertiary academic curriculum.
We might not think it but we all engage in some act of sales every day of our lives. From the debate you participated in secondary school and convincing your parents why you chose your present career to the interview you had with your boss for your present job. It’s all Sales. Be it selling yourself, selling an idea or selling a product/ service, Sales is Sales and since you will get to do more of it in the future anyway it’s important to learn to do it right.
In this post, I will be sharing my understanding of the 5 most important Sales skills;
- Honesty and Integrity: This is one area to ignore at your own peril. In Sales, reputation is everything and the temptation to throw in that little lie to facilitate the closing is one you will always battle with. Truth is, you might get away with a few times, but remember, with Integrity, it takes only one strike to lose years of hard work. So stay honest and stay true to yourself and you will do just fine even if you get off on a slow start
- Sound Knowledge (Product, Market and Audience): In Sales, the unwritten golden rule is “Know your product like the back of your hands, your target market like your palm and your target audience like the lines on your palms. No matter how good a salesman you think you are, you can’t effectively sell a product you have no knowledge about, worse still, sell it in a random market to a random set of audience. Even Leonardo Di Caprio in Wolf of Wall Street can’t pull this off.
- Communication skills: Communication skills is King. Not only because you obviously have to speak to sell but because it is exactly what brings about the MAGIC in selling. Knowing what to say, how to say it and exactly when to say it is a skill that serves all life’s purposes but unfortunately, only a few possess this godly skill. The good news, however, is that it can be learnt. I must point out that communication skills also involves active listening, a good salesman must really listen to what the client needs and fit product offering to their needs.
- Negotiation skills: If communication skill is king, then Negotiation skill is the Ace of Spades. This is the skill that guarantees you will never walk out from a deal empty-handed. In layman’s terms, it is the quality that allows two or more parties to reach a compromise. This skill usually involves a blend of other skills and abilities such as communication, persuasion, planning, strategizing and cooperating. A good salesman knows not to accept every single demand of a prospect without making some requests of his own. By keeping the negotiation a win-win for both sides, you build a symbiotic relationship where everyone goes home happy (or at the very least satisfied)
- Networking Skills: This skill is the defining factor that separates boys from men in the world of selling, and simply because it is a social skill and thus, 100% action-based. While some by nature find it easy to strike a conversation with a total stranger, others might find it a herculean task. By and large, growing your network will always be an added advantage to your sales effort and possessing the skill to do so will remain an invaluable asset. Imagine the concepts of referral selling and network marketing and you will get a glimpse of the possibilities networking holds as a skill.
Whether you are new to sales or are already working within the field, developing these five skills will help you easily advance to the next level – and all the way to the top. I know you have questions and comments, drop them below let’s discuss more