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A sales team needs people who have more than the, “go go go!” mentality.

It also needs competent professionals who have the essential sales skills, abilities, and talents it takes to deliver constant, successful sales. In this article, we’re going to look at some of the sales skills you’d be remiss not to master.

Something I ask all of my sales team is, “What could a sales rep do to win you over if you were the client?”

Sales skills are ever-changing, and just when it seems like you’ve got them all mastered, it all changes. However, if you stick to this simple question, you’ll more or less have a sales skills list that withstands all manner of changes in the field.

So What Makes A Great Rep? Sales Skills.

Although legions of books, papers, and studies have been done on this, researchers have yet to come to a solid conclusion.

What works for one consumer or business, doesn’t necessarily work for another. Furthermore, what works for one business in a field (eg, plumbing) doesn’t necessarily work for another in that field.

While there are some sales representative skills that are considered indispensable across the board, there are also those that are more specialized.

In these cases, there might even be respective sales teams within one company. However, all of these teams will need the sales representative skills it takes to provide value to their clients.

In this sales skills list, we’re going to advise you on what we think is some of the most integral skills for a rep to have. Some might even be considered part of the Sales Bible.

Essential Sales Skills You Need to Have

1 Rapport

Great sales reps know how to positively engage with other people. Whether you’re meeting clients or gathering leads, being able to speak openly and honestly with your client to the point where you seem closer to friends than strangers is essential.

You need to think of relationship building, client nurturing, and active listening.

Building up a rapport with clients can also lead to relationship selling. One of the key factors of being human is craving other human contact. Even for the most misanthropic of clients, showing them they can trust you means your being able to make more decisions with them in your corner.

HubSpot’s Dan Tyre has a great guide to building up good client rapport.

The takeaway?

Every business is a people business.

2 Research

Never make guesses.

Researching market trends, rival solutions, and your clients enable you to make better decisions across the board. Knowing facts that your competition may not know could lead you to close the most high-value of deals.

Unless you can back up your claims, they remain unsubstantiated. So even if you do land the job, you’re already severing promises.

Bonus Resources: A few good spots you can research include LinkedIn, your CRM, and Glassdoor, among others.

3 Sales Prospecting

This is where your sales process begins. Without prospecting, you won’t get around to closing any deals at all. Prospecting is what separates the skillful sales reps from the less-so.

To tell the truth, a lot of people aren’t very good at outreach.

The idea of reaching out to hundreds of clients through, for example, email, sounds daunting. However, it’s also an essential skill to have.

Especially now, with the existence of social media, there are more opportunities than ever to reach out to clients and create business opportunities. Tell your prospects what they’ll get by working with you.

A good sales prospecting tip is to prospect every day. After all, not every client is going to open the email.

4 Storytelling

We’ve all been hearing stories since as far back as when we were born. There’s a reason that clients respond so well to a fully fleshed-out plot.

A lot of successful pitches need a good story. The story should also resonate with those you’re telling it to. It should also be fully catered to them and their brand goals as well as their audience or customers.

You need a story that’s simple, concise, and that provides the answers to the main questions: What’s the problem?

What is the solution provided? How will it be successful? That’s it. You need a story that is fully authentic, and you need to sell it.

As a sales rep, you don’t need to be Tolkien, you just need to show clients what they’re going to get if they go with you.

5 Knowing When To Stop

Were you ever taught to stop, look, and listen before crossing the road?

This same thing goes when it comes to sales. Listening to your clients is the best way of understanding what they want while also showing them that you care about that. In reality, this should be a life skill, not just a sales one.

No successful sale has ever been made from a representative speaking over their client.

Not one. In sales, it’s far too common to see a rep speaking too much than not at all. Just take the intense car salesman trope that is, unfortunately, not all that fictional. Would you trust the guy yelling at you?

Listening to your client means being able to respond with YOUR solutions to THEIR problems. Through this, you can show that you’re empathic to their desires and passionate in helping them to attain their goals.

There’s a talk vs listening ratio and adhering to it can drive prospective sales up massively. Additionally, there’s also a science to it.

In Conclusion

When I ask my team, “What could a sales rep do to win you over?”, the most common answer I get is, “Be honest.”

With honesty, open communication, and the defacto necessity of delivering the value promised, you might already be on your way to acquiring the best sales skills in the business.

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