sales skills

Sales is something that everyone needs to learn. What few people realize is that they’re closing deals every day. If you don’t work in sales it’s easy to assume you don’t need to learn how. That’s simply not true. Developing sales skills will help you in many situations beyond a sales job.

Whether you’re closing a big deal or selling your significant other on where you’re going for dinner it’s still a sale. At the end of the day there’s no secret formula to closing every deal. However there are plenty of sales skills you can develop to improve your close rate.

Here are five sales skills that everyone should possess:

Qualify Every Single Prospect

It’s estimated that more than half of the prospects you come across aren’t actually a good fit for your products or services. That said sales people still spend hours trying to push their products on these unqualified prospects.

Instead of rushing to the sale you should emphasize quality control. As you prospect, develop a strict process on how you qualify a customer. I suggest making a basic check-list. Decide on what is required to be considered a qualified lead and only move forward with prospects who meet your specific requirements.

 Script Your Introductions

Studies show that it only takes about 10 seconds for a prospect to decide whether or not they want to continue a conversation with you. This makes your introductions extremely important.

Since sales is a numbers game, you’ll likely be doing plenty of introductions throughout your career. Instead of leaving it up to chance you should always try to script your introductions. You can try out different methods but make sure you keep the script constant for a few prospects. Once you find one that works, stick to it as much as possible.

Find Your Metrics

As I mentioned above, sales it truly a numbers game. As you schedule your week for success you should always quantify what it’s going to take to hit your goals. Keep track of metrics like email opens, responses, and calls scheduled per set of prospects. Your end goal is obviously a closed deal.

If you can build a model that clearly shows what it takes to close a deal you’ll be able to work much more efficiently.

Build Relationships

Building rapport through schmoozing simply isn’t enough to win clients over. People are becoming increasingly skeptical of salespeople these days. This makes it increasingly important to build real relationships with prospects and clients.

If a prospect trusts you on a personally level then they’ll trust that your products and services will provide value. If you’re able to build relationships with existing clients then they’ll be more likely to give you a referral or two when you ask.

Listen Attentively

Every sales mentor will tell you that you need to listen more than you speak. This is especially true when the client begins to express interest in the deal. When a client is on the verge of closing they will typically ask their most important or pressing questions. These questions are the tipping point for whether or not they want to close.

If you fail to listen attentively you’ll miss valuable information on that specific client and potentially the industry as a whole.

Final Thoughts

If you want to succeed in sales you need to get out there and sell. If you want to close more deals I suggest practicing the five sales skills listed above. You won’t be disappointed.




Renzo Costarella is an entrepreneur, avid learner, and startup enthusiast currently living in Silicon Valley. He consults for several startups in the Bay Area and is pursuing a few ideas of his own.

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