Developing a successful career in sales requires certain skills.
Some individuals were born with sales skills — they intuitively understand human communication and how to close the deal. Other salespeople can enjoy the same level of success, but they need to develop certain skills, such as relationship-building, on-the-spot speaking, and how to keep the conversation positive.
Whether you’re in your first sales job or are a seasoned veteran, consider how these habits and practices might improve your performance on a daily basis:
• Strong sales professionals spend most of their time on preparation. You need to know your pitch and your product or service inside and out. One of the most common pet peeves consumers and B2B purchasers have about working with sales professionals is their level of understanding.
If you don’t understand your lead, their needs, and your product, you cannot create a compelling sales argument. Take time to familiarize yourself with specifications, commonly asked questions, and any technical basics you might need to earn your prospect’s trust.
• They remain true to themselves. Strong sales professionals remain authentic whether they’re selling something they love or something they hate. Use your life experience and perspective to help a lead make a decision, and focus on those qualities. Modern consumers are smart, and they typically know if a sales professional is not 100% behind his or her claim. True enthusiasm goes a long way.
• They constantly analyze the sales cycle. Many modern sales professionals play a role in every step of a sales process, from marketing to retention activities. Break down your cycle into individual steps, then measure your effectiveness at each step. Do you lose leads during the nurturing phase, or do you have trouble closing the deal? If you know your weaknesses, you can take meaningful steps to improve.
• They build and value personal relationships. Good sales relationships extend beyond the sale. Effective sales people constantly work to build their networks and maintain open lines of communications with potential leads, as well as others they can help and who can help them.
• They put the customer first. In sales, listening is just as important (if not more important) than talking. If you can focus on the customer, understand his or her needs, and offer a value-added solution, you will win your lead’s trust and improve your ability to close the sale.
• They know when to ask for help. When sales professionals have trouble maintaining productivity, they invest in the help they need to get back on track. Sales-coaching programs allow salespeople to work on their weaknesses, so they can improve skills such as relationship-building, setting up a sales strategy, or maintaining a positive mindset.
You have an opportunity to improve your sales skills during every conversation you have tomorrow. Incorporate these habits into your daily practices, seek help from a sales coach if you need it, and watch a successful career unfold. You’ve got what it takes to be great.