Fancy yourself in a career in sales? Maybe you’re often told you have the gift of the gab or just want a role where you can show your confident, extrovert side?
What does it take to land a job where you can perform well in sales? Not everyone is born to sell but learning a crucial set of five significant skills can be an excellent start.
If you have the talent for landing sales, whether talking people round or finding something a customer is missing out on, then you can easily develop these five key selling skills, says Corporate Consultant Neil Debenham.
Knowledge (is power)
The most important skills you can learn if you want to be the king of sales, is knowledge. Knowing everything about your product or service. Good product knowledge is vital to making any sale. If a customer asks you something about a product and you hesitate or are unable to answer, this immediately makes them feel uneasy about the sale.
You’ll also need to make sure you know the market, the industry and most importantly, your customers. Keep following the latest trends by keeping an eye on your competitors, researching what others are doing checking out social media and engaging with customers.
Neil Debenham says that if you’re really listening when a customer talks to you, you’ll hear more than a problem that has a quick solution. “You’ll pick up on nuggets of information which could lead to additional sales and repeat business,” he adds.
With every conversation you should be creating trust and confidence. But this isn’t possible if you do a full sales pitch and don’t listen. Until you focus on understanding your customer, you will not be able to help them more.
If you listen passively, paying minimal attention, you’ll miss several sales opportunities in one conversation. This could easily be joint number one spot in our key selling skills.
This is critical as this influences your attitude towards your job and your ability to sell anything. If you appear bored, uninterested, fed up or in any way uneasy about a product or service you are selling, it rings alarm bells for the customer. Even defensive body language can send customers running for the door.
Due to the quick nature of sales and the fact they can be challenging, means you need to think positively to carry on. After all, not every call or meeting is closed with a sale. A pessimistic outset to the start of the day will never forge a career in sales.
The way you deliver messages is the difference between no sales and multiple sales with repeat business. If you are stumbling over your words and repeating yourself, customers and clients will have little faith in you. You may be the world’s best at closing a sale but if you can’t communicate about the product or service in the most important first stages, then you may as well go home.
Neil Debenham, who has run several sales courses for UK businesses, advises: “Give examples using real-life customers. Expand as much as you can but don’t ramble. Create empathy with stories and evoke emotional interest through your conversations. Tell a story and ramp up the good ending. The more memorable, the better.”
If you come across as cold and just wanting everything, you’ll likely close a sale with nothing. So much can be said for building and developing relationships with customers. To them you should appear more like a friend but remain professional.
In sales, a quality connection with everyone you interact with is crucial. Relationships are a requirement, rather than an option. Interpersonal skills are vital if you want to sell well. Always fit what you are offering to the customer’s needs.