Selling Skills You Need to Succeed in Business

At some point in a career, even if you don’t work in sales, you’re going to have to sell something. It could be your ideas, your team, or yourself.

Developing sales skills takes time and practice. It’s important to split up the process into bite-sized chunks. This allows the trainee to grasp new skills and build on them.
Asking Questions

Asking questions is a key part of selling. The right questions can help you understand your customers’ needs and wants and make better recommendations. The right questions also allow you to establish a long-term connection with your customers, which can save time later in the sales process.

Your questions should focus on the customer’s challenges, goals, and pain points. They should also encourage the buyer to keep thinking about their situation and how they could accomplish their goal. You can also ask closed-ended questions, which will help you hone in on the essentials and explore more deeply.

While many sellers avoid asking closed-ended questions, these questions are useful when the prospect is hesitant to open up or provides only a surface-level response. Be careful not to ask too many closed-ended questions, however, as you don’t want to make the prospect feel interrogated. Ask your questions in a conversational style and ask follow-ups that align with the answer you receive.
Listening Skills

In sales, listening is a critical component to understanding buyers and providing the right solution. However, many salespeople aren’t skilled at actively listening, resulting in miscommunication and a lack of clarity that can ultimately derail the sale.

To improve your active listening skills, focus on the obvious clues a prospect gives off – their body language, verbal and non-verbal cues (like “um,” “uh,” and clearing the throat), the tone of their voice, and the way they choose to phrase their words. You should also look for any ambiguous statements or hints that they may have more to say and ask thought-provoking, open-ended questions to elicit further information.

Lastly, be sure to ask for permission to take notes, as this is an important signal that you’re engaged and interested in what they have to say. By actively listening to their prospects, salespeople can uncover more of the buyer’s needs and build a strong foundation for long-term relationships that lead to more closed deals.
Turning Objections Into Opportunities

Objections are a natural part of the sales process. Whether it’s the price, value, relevance to their situation or purchasing ability, almost every prospect will raise some kind of objection during the sales process.

One of the most important things to remember is that objections are opportunities, not roadblocks. They’re a sign that the prospect has more questions than they are comfortable with and need to be answered.

When most salespeople hear an objection, they tend to get uncomfortable and respond with a nervous verbal tirade. This can actually backfire on them. The best thing to do is slow down and inquire, as opposed to arguing with the prospect. This allows you to dig deeper and find out what is really behind the objection. You may be surprised to learn that their concerns are not as valid as you initially thought. This is a great opportunity to build trust with the prospect and establish yourself as a problem solver.

Negotiation skills are the most critical element in any salesperson’s arsenal. These are the skills that determine if a sale is won or lost. They also determine the quality of customer relationships, as well as the amount of repeat business generated.

Sales reps should prepare extensively for each negotiation and practice and refine their skill set until they’re confident they can deliver a win-win outcome. That preparation includes a thorough understanding of the buyer’s operations, industry and market trends. It should also include a comprehensive knowledge of the product and how it meets the buyer’s objectives.

Sales negotiation doesn’t have to be a contentious or argumentative process. In fact, the goal of a good negotiator is to uncover deeper buyer needs. That helps both parties understand the value of their solution and leads to a mutually beneficial agreement. Getting there requires a higher level of emotional intelligence (sometimes called EQ) that enables the sales rep to connect authentically with their marketplace

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