The Top Ten Sales Skills Every Salesperson Should Know

The Top Ten Things That Every Salesperson Should Know
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The Top Sales Skills Every Salesperson Should Know, IMO

I’ve never done a top 10 list of sales skills before, so I thought it might be kind of interesting to put a list together for you. I actually came up with 25 of the top sales skills that every salesperson should know, IMO.

You can write down your list of the top 10 things that you think every salesperson should know, compare it with mine, and let me know in the comments below if you feel I missed any!

I’ve also included a link to each of the Sales Made Simple Podcast episodes that go with the skill, if you would like to learn more about each skill.

To get the complete list of the twenty-five sales skills every salesperson needs to know, IMO, please go to the form at the bottom of the blog and request your top 25 checklist.

Is knowing these top sales skills important?

It is, because if you can master these skills, you will succeed in a long-term sales career.

1. Be adaptable.

And able to improvise and be flexible. As salespeople, our schedules and situations can change very quickly, and we need to be able to adapt. Whether it’s a client that decides they need to see you today, or a sales presentation that you thought would be an easy sale that turns into something a bit more complicated, or objections that you just weren’t prepared for.

This is where the improvisation comes in – being able to quickly pivot to provide an answer for a question you weren’t expecting. The better you are at this, and the more flexible you will be, and the better you will be able to adapt to meet your prospect’s needs. Episode 57.

2. Know how to manage your time.

How long do you need to allow between appointments? How many appointments can you run in a day? Do you have prospecting time scheduled every day, and how much time do you need to prospect to keep your pipeline? Episode 47.

3. Understand active listening.

The art of really listening to someone to understand them better. I’m also going to add in knowing the right questions to ask a prospect to make sure that what you were listening to will ultimately help you to help your prospects to make a buying decision. Episode 20.

4. Understand how to control your attitude, enthusiasm, and empathy.

No one wants to meet with a grumpy salesperson that is unhappy, in a bad mood, not interested in what they are offering, and uncaring about the prospect.

Put yourself in the prospect’s shoes. Be the person that you would want to meet with if the situation were flipped, and you were the buyer instead of the seller. Empathy goes a long way to help you serve your prospect in the best way possible. Episode 28.

5. Know how to ask for help.

It could be because you don’t know an answer to one of your prospects’ questions. Maybe you just can’t create the personal connection that you need to form. Or maybe your prospect just needs a nudge from someone else to say “That’s the best decision!”

It’s okay to call in a co-worker or on occasion, or even your manager. Lose your ego and gain the sale. Episode 66.

6. Understand sales psychology.

Like why someone will buy what they buy, body language, and buying signals. Learn how to engage your prospects, and discover what they are really saying to you with their nonverbal communication. Episode 19.

7. Possess great verbal communication skills.

This includes phone skills, which are super important to a salesperson.

Be clear when you speak, be focused on your words, and guide your prospects through the buying cycle. Find out where they are, what they know, and clearly help them. If you are jumbled, confusing and jumping randomly from one topic to another, you will confuse your prospects, and a confused prospect doesn’t buy. Episode 33. 

8. Be prepared.

Have you done the research about your prospects before you meet or call? Do you understand the technology you need to write and a proposal or contract? Do you have all the tools you need organized before your presentation? Episode 9.

9. Be able to establish trust and be the authority.

Don’t leave your prospect guessing what they do need to do next, and don’t let your prospect lead without what they came in for – to speak with an authority that will help them achieve their goals today. Episode 68.

10. Be honest with your prospects.

Do you sometimes make up things and tell prospects that you can do something that you may not be able to do?

For example, sometimes my clients may come to me with an unrealistic time frame for what they want. Sure, I could lie, say ,”No problem”, get the sale, and deal with their anger and disappointment when what they want doesn’t come in on time, but I choose to let them know right up front the correct time frame.

And I’ll say, “Hey, I can lie to you now, and have you angry later, or I can tell you the truth now, so at least you will know what to really expect”. They may be disappointed, but they appreciate my honesty.

I don’t think I have an episode on honesty – that’s something you can’t teach, it’s just the choice you need to make, and hopefully a theme that you will see throughout this blog series.

When I put this together, I actually came up with 25 sales skills that every salesperson should know to be successful. If you would like the checklist of the 25 things, you can get it below.

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