Top 10 Skills Every Sales Professional Must Master
It is either you run your business, or be ran by your business. Relentlessly groom yourself to attract the kind of results you seek. These are words i say and live out every day, as they relate to every part of our lives ̶ business and sales inclusive.
The most successful business owners and salespersons care about results and they get it. But what sets them apart is the doggedness that they apply in developing their skills internally. They go through the rigors of putting in the work behind the scene, then step out closing sales as they go.
Closing sales is one of the toughest jobs around which even the best of us can attest to, your marketing techniques has to be top notch. It comes naturally to no one, except you want to stay an amateur. Mastering your sales skill is a process that you have to continually imbibe.
In the end, it will help you hit your short and long term sales goals, raise your revenue, scale up your business… and give you the kind of lifestyle you only ever dreamt of. There is a lot of guide flying around about how to make the best sales in business, but truth is if you have no sharpened skill set, all those guides are a waste of all our time.
In this post, I will discuss the top 10 skill set that every professional business owner and sales person must master if you want to close more sales. Read through slowly, thoroughly and apply!
1. A Well Rounded Mindset
A smart business owner who wants to make sales must first have an all-round balanced mindset. You don’t just go with the notion that because you have a great product and a smooth tongue, you’d get clients. That is optimism without preparation.
Again, you should never think yourself inadequate. This is a limiting belief that you have to identify and overcome. Every stride you make starts from the mindset. You have to be optimistic that your intentions are noble and they will fly.
You also have to be aware of the fact that what you don’t believe, you cannot achieve. Lastly, make up your mind to put in the work, and you will enjoy your journey making sales as a business owner.
2. Know Your Product Or Service
As a business owner who plans to close more sales, you must know your products or services off your fingers. You must be knowledgeable about every tad bits of your business. If you fail in this aspect, you need to get through to a business coach fast. This is because a business owner who doesn’t know their product knows virtually nothing about their business.
It is imperative that you know how your products or services work, the benefits they offer and how they fit with the needs of your ideal clients. When you can identify all these and establish why a client should buy your product, you can prepare outstanding sales pitches.
You will also be able to mark down the strongest features of your services and leverage on it. This one trait gives you an edge over the average business owner.
3. Strong Communication Skills
As a business owner or sales representative trying to make a sale, always remember that how you make a statement to a prospect differs… and is more important than what you say in a statement. This is a very important sales skill especially as it is over the phone. You should work on the tone and volume of your voice. The pace of your speech is also very important.
The bulk of your sales conversation relies on how you say it, than what you say. Learn the art of mirroring the tone and style of the prospect when conversing. Go with the flow, because that is what makes the prospect comfortable.
If the prospect is casual, try to be casual and if they are formal, be very formal. Subtlety is the word here. This will help you create an easier rapport and familiarity with the prospect. Avoid the dullness, boredom, extreme voice brightness or speech monotone.
Rather, let your personality, knowledge, emotion and subtle enthusiasm shine through in your conversation. This helps the prospect understand that first you are human and not a robot which will garner their interest in talking to you.
4. Effective Goal Setting And Time Management
To excel in sales, you have to be self-motivated, a go getter and the perfect time manager. You must master the art of prioritizing your goals and effective time management. If you want to do better than the competition, this is a skill you must add to your skill set.
You should have an eye for promising leads and sort through them… so you don’t waste your time chasing dead ends. You can employ the use of tech such as analytics which will help you identify the industry, business size, demographics and other attributes of your ideal leads.
This will help you channel your time into tailoring your sales and landing clients fast.
5. Strategic Lead Generation
Your ability to generate leads depends on how much you know about lead generation and your industry. Do you generate them online, through referrals, networking, cold calling, seminars or workshops?
How much do you understand about targeted marketing and prospecting? All these will help you identify the niche, industry and specific company you need to prospect. One of the best ways to do this amongst others is to get referrals through your existing clients.
These referrals will be prospects that fit your ideal and target client profile. When you have given existing clients a unique buying experience, this will not be hard to get. Lead generation in the general sense is you reaching out to many, but strategic lead generation is targeting and reaching out to your most ideal prospects.
6. Active Listening
As a business owner trying to make sales, it is undeniable that you will talk. But active listening is a skill that you have to consciously cultivate. You must learn to not just listen, but be mindfully present and follow up with intelligent questions.
Most times, prospects really want you to just listen and they know when you are not. Rather than thinking about the next statement to wow the prospect, practice the art of listening. This will help you gain more insight into the prospect’s pain points. With such knowledge, you will have the advantage of offering a potent solution to the prospect.
7. Fit Questioning
When making your first sales conversation, utilize your discovery phase to analyze the critical business needs of your prospect. Lots of business owners just go in listing the many benefits and features of their services without caring to find out what the prospect needs. This is a total turn off and you’d be putting your worst foot forward.
Never share all the features and benefits of your services before knowing what the prospect wants. This is proverbially pitting the cart before the horse. I would advise that you dig to discover the business pain points of your prospects and how your service can benefit them by asking effective and power questions.
With your questions answered and more insights gained into your prospect’s reason for reaching out to you, you would know if they are a fit for your services or not. And if they are, you’d know what features and benefit of your services that they need, based on what is most important to them.
This is because, not every arm of your service is for everyone. Some prospects may need only an arm of your service to solve their needs. And if you begin your sales conversation by reeling off all your benefits before you know what they needs, you could send them off running.
8. Objection Blocking And Handling
Learning how to block objections and handling them if they pop up anyway is an indispensable sales skill. Be strategic and forward thinking by compiling and studying a list of frequently asked questions in your niche market. This can help you proactively work through objections before they pop up.
For example, if you pitch to a client and they tell you that they get it cheaper from a particular company, this is obviously a frequently asked question (FAQ). It is left for you to do an in-depth analysis of your service and see the distinct edge it has over others.
This is the unique selling proposition of your product or service that sets you apart from the competition. And this will make your pricing to encounter less resistance when presented to prospective clients.
If objections pop up anyway, because in truth, even the best sales persons cannot totally eliminate them ̶ you have to be on your toes in order not to lose that sale. Get to understand and genuinely empathize with what the prospect is on about, and ask for more information if possible.
Allay the prospects fear and offer clarity into their concerns. This will soften prospects and disprove every objection they might have had.
9. Metrics And Progress Tracking
This is as important as tracking your marketing techniques and how much revenue you generate. Tracking will help you understand what is working and what is not… what you need to improve and what you need to drop.
You will be clearer when setting your goals and what you need to achieve. This aids efficiency, speed, productivity and fast scale ups.
A great software that can help you do this is any CRM system. This will you manage customer and prospect data, as well as track customer interactions. It is time effective and very accurate.
10. Relationship Management Post Sales
Building a relationship doesn’t end when you close the sale. After the first patronage, it is not guaranteed if the client will return or not, but that doesn’t mean you should go cold. Business courtesy demands that you appreciate them and keep building a relationship with them.
Doing this and combining it with great client experience is the fastest way to get returning clients. Again, they will gladly recommend and refer you to other clients who are in the same situation as they were.
Healthy relationships really do matter in the business world, especially if your aim is to build a network of satisfied and loyal clients.
Post sales relationship is really one area that business owners and sales persons get it wrong. If you successfully brought them in the door, keep them in the door. And this you can do this by cultivating the habit of maintaining rapport with clients.
My final thoughts…
One of the most difficult jobs of a business owner is pitching and closing sales. This is worse for those who are either shy, or not a people person. Secondly, if you are green around the ears in business and you believe that you will make massive sales, simply because you got a great product or service… wake up and smell the coffee. Most times, you have to convince a person beyond reasonable doubt that blue is blue even if they can see it.
But you can get out there well prepared if you know just what to do, all of which I’ve outlined above. Simply get your mindset right and the practice active listening, communication skills, goal setting and time management. You should also learn the art of fit questioning, strategic lead generation, progress tracking, post-sale relationship and lots more.
When you master this, you will grow professionally and become a master of your craft. You would go out there, closing sales and landing clients at will. You will help these clients get dramatic outcomes and shine like a rock star.
If you need our support through this journey in your business, go ahead to schedule a breakthrough call with one of our business strategists through this link or use the button below.