A life in sales is compiled of many different tasks. As a sales representative we wear many hats. We are the face of the company to our consumers, consultants on the products. At the end of the day our main task is this: to hit our sales goals. We’ve put together a list of 7 selling skills that you need to develop in order to hit your sales goals this year.
The 7 selling skills needed to hit your sales goals are:
As a sales person you will hear no a lot. I mean A LOT. While you are cold calling, presenting a pitch, etc. You get no’s by asking for the sale, asking to present, or even just trying to get in the door. This can be a tough hardship to overcome, and some days it will even feel impossible. It is with persistence that will turn those no’s into yess’.
Persistence comes in many forms. Building a relationship with constant checkups and visits, re-pitching or re-asking for a sale, etc.. It’s one of the most important sales skills to learn, but probably the hardest to master.
Be sure to not let your persistence end once the sale is closed. Continue to be available, make check ins, and constantly update asks to prove to create a long lasting customer relationship.
When following up seems hopeless remember Cristian Rennella’s experience from his company, El Mejor Trato, “In the last 9 years I have seen more than 60 salespeople work in our company. However, there is one thing that divides best: follow up until you close the sale! (skill: PERSISTENT).
And those are the sellers who continue to work with us in the long term. They are the ones with the best salary on average 37.4% higher than the rest.”
Not only will your persistence help you gain headway on your goals, you will also be making more commission money. If that isn’t motivation enough for you then you are in the wrong profession!
Staying organized can sometimes be the hardest skill to manage as a sales rep. With so many things to do in so little time, staying on top of it all can seem impossible. A rep is also often in their car, or in multiple meetings and office spots (like an occasional Starbucks stop to catch up on emails and receive some much needed coffee).
The inconsistency of their day makes it hard to dedicate the time and space to organization. However, staying on top of your paperwork, emails, goals, contacts, communications can only help you to succeed.
A rep should be looking at their goals every single day. These goals should be setup in a format they feel most comfortable with whether that be an excel spreadsheet, handwritten on a piece of paper, typed up on notes on your mobile phone, etc.
Before every appointment, revisit your goals and have a plan ahead of time of what goals you want to accomplish with this particular contact. Always have your objective on top of mind.
Keep up with your emails. Read every email that comes in and respond within an appropriate amount of time. Mark important emails, and sort others into files so you do not lose them. Others, just trash so they do not add clutter. It is imperative to not miss an important message internally about your goals or products, and even more important to not miss communication from your customer trying to reach you for information.
The same protocol should go for your paperwork, office setting, car, and any other interaction you have throughout the day. Know where everything is. Keep important information at your fingertips, get rid of clutter. Your mind will then be less cluttered and have more energy to focus on the other tasks at hand to better close the deal.
Perhaps one of the most dreaded task of all to a sales rep: cold calling.
Jeannette Seibly with SeibCo, LLC “The number one skill is prospecting! You must be willing to make the calls and attend the business networking meetings that fill your pipeline for current and future sales. To build immediate credibility and interest, sell you first! Then, instead of sending them to your website to learn more about your products and services, provide them the information they have requested.”
4. Listening skills
The best way to get to know your customers, and more importantly for your sales, is by listening. And I mean truly listening. Not just waiting until they stop talking to say what it is you want to say.
Ask how their business is doing, and let them answer. Repeat back what they said to them to confirm. Make sure you have a true understanding about how they feel about what is going on in their work.
When it comes to negotiation skills, some people are just born with it, but everyone needs to practice them. Role playing to build negotiation skills can be very effective.
It is all about reading people and planning how far you are willing to go ahead of time.
Josh at Fieldbloom says, “The ability to negotiate effectively is a very useful skill for hitting sales goals. Often times I’ve seen sales reps think that they have a deal in hand and then at the last minute, the potential customer will start asking for discounts and other concessions. This can put an unprepared rep in a tough spot as they are counting on closing the deal to meet their goal, but the concessions they need to give will mean that they potentially won’t make it (depending on what other deals are in the pipeline).
Reps with good negotiation skills are able to provide value to the other party in the form of non-monetary points (shorter contract term, longer warranty, additional customer support, etc.) or if it is a value play, they end up getting something of equal or greater value which allows for a better chance of hitting or exceeding their sales goals.”
6. Ability to Product Match
Being able to product match your portfolio to your customer is a few skills needed rolled up into one. Connecting all of these skills to product match will set you apart from other reps.
To product match you need a deep understanding of your portfolio. Dive into any and all materials you have on your products and services and use them as you can. Get to know all of their features so that when you are in dialogue with a customer, and they start speaking of their needs, you can connect them to one of your things quicker.
It also takes listening skills. We already touched on the importance of being attentive while your customer is talking and this is why. This is how you learn what they need so you know what to pitch to them.
Greg Gagnon, owner of two UPS stores, one in Santee, CA and one in Lakeside, CA reiterates this by saying, “Never try to sell something to someone they don’t really want. That’s just lame.
Instead, learn what they desire, what will make there life easier, what will help them get time back and what you can offer of real, true value. I think this is done best with connection. Think more about connections and not transactions. When we connect, we are able to know more and then offer more to help serve a person’s needs.”
7. Ability to Teach
Sales consultants need to know how to teach how to use the product or service they are selling. This of course takes patience and product knowledge to execute correctly.
For whatever it may be that your customer needs help with, be sure to provide service for them to start up and learn whatever it is that you sold them. Contribute with manuals, your time, any extra services you can provide to them that make the transition as smooth as possible.
If your potential client feels like they would want to learn from you, they are more likely to want to buy from you. Develop that trust by consulting from the beginning and give yourself credibility with the education up front.
“The way we sell our services is by providing information and teaching them on what to do on a specific situation to our users.I would say the best tip and the fastest way to acquire a new client is to teach them, being a consultant to them. In every sell the main ingredient is trust and by teaching I have found that people have more trust on us and see that we are experts on our field. I once hear a phrase that says: teach them 90% of what you know and they will pay for the other 10” says Jesus Campos from Abogados de Accidentes.
The Smart Hack
Sales is a great profession that comes with many rewards. Reaching sales goals can be difficult, but not impossible. Always keep them in mind while planning your day. Also you should make sure to keep your customers first and show them appreciation or good service. This will help those sales keep rolling in, which means you’ll hit all of your sales goals!