Sales Skills and Abilities
Whether you’re offering a product to a customer, services to an entire industry, or an idea that is destined to change the future of commerce, the ability to sell those products, services, and ideas is dependent on developing professional selling skills. Sales skills, long considered the province of the person peddling insurance door to door, or the disreputable used-car salesperson down the block, is now viewed as instrumental expertise that does more than merely pad the well-documented retail sales resume.
Basic selling skills have more use than in business alone. For instance, what better chance do you have to go to the restaurant of your choice than by selling the idea to your friends and family? The point is, we live in a world that is guided by persuasion, and influenced by a compelling sales narrative, so burnishing your sales resume with selling tips and techniques that are geared towards identifying customer needs and closing sales in a prompt and satisfying manner that guarantees repeat business with that customer.
Honing your sales skills and techniques translates into improved performance and seamless transitioning between an interested buyer and a satisfied paying customer. Developing sales skills allows you the insight to anticipate customer concerns, which can be easily paired to a selling narrative that positions your products and services as the perfect solution to solve their problems.
Even in retail, retail selling skills can give the customer an extra nudge to purchase an item. Once they hear of the fire sale of the day, they might be a little more excited to pick up that winter scarf in June. Retail sales skills can be applied to any industry whether you are in sales or not. In retail, you can face customers that reject or even ignore you. Through experience, employees learn not to take things personally and move on to the next opportunity.
Why Sales Knowledge Matters
It’s plain and simple: the best sales teams consistently deliver for their organizations. But superb sales skills don’t come naturally to every rep. You see, sales knowledge comes from sales training, enablement, and coaching from dedicated managers, leaders, tools, and resources. And, the most effective sales training educates reps on sales skills and techniques via all-inclusive industry best practices that breed success.
Let’s break this down.
The basic understanding of essential sales skills is a fun little mix of what a rep might already know how to do, like manage their time, manage a relationship post-sale, or provide exceptional customer service from day one, but also what a rep needs to learn, like product knowledge, qualifying questioning, or the ins-and-outs of the sales process. And, in order to provide the best overall experience to a prospect or current customer, reps must be up to speed on the latest sales techniques. People don’t have time or patience for old-school selling techniques like being oversold a product, smooth talkin’, or fake enthusiasm. Prospects respond better to reps who pitch solutions over products, introduce unconsidered needs, and appeal to their emotions and not just data. In fact, strong sales skills mean being able to explain how your product works, what value it provides, and why your prospects need it.