To be a successful sales person, one needs to have adequate knowledge of the domain, be proficient in the skills required and have the right attitude. Let’s see what are the basic skills required to be a successful sales person.
Listening skills: Sales people need to be good listeners as they can sell the right product only when they understand what customers require. This can be done only when they are patient and willing to listen to their customers. It also helps them build rapport as patient listening shows that they are attentive to customers’ needs, concerned with their problems and interested in providing solutions.
Questioning skills: Asking the right questions to the prospect ensures that the sales person is in control of the conversation. He or she can lead the conversation to stimulate the thoughts of the prospective customers and encourage them to voice out their thoughts, apprehensions or problems. Only when sales people understand any of these, can they try and provide a solution through their products.
Knowing the product: Knowledge of products is extremely important for any sales person. They need to know everything about the product/ service they are selling – its features, advantages and the specific benefits that the customer is likely to get from the product or service.
As a sales person you also need to have a clear understanding about your industry, the competitors against whom you are pitted, the target customer base and your pricing vis-a-vis competition.
Knowing the process: Successful sales people understand the sales process. They not only understand the sales process but also know how to apply the same in the context of their product and organization.
Understanding customer objections: Sales personnel face many road blocks in terms of objections by clients. Having prior knowledge about these objections will help them to prepare convincing explanation and provide missing information. Bridging such gaps will take them one step closer to clinching the deal.
Identifying buying signals: Based on the buying signals that the prospect gives, a sales person can plan his next move or question. Therefore, he/ she needs to be sharp and smart enough to identify these buying signals. Questions such as, “How long will it take” or “How much does it cost” etc are some of the buying signals from a prospect.
Negotiating and closing skills: Closing a sale is as important as identifying a prospect. Therefore, a successful sales person is one who is very proficient in closing skills. He knows exactly what to ask and seek confirmation of the deal. He needs to be a good negotiator to create a win-win situation for both the customer and himself.
These are some of the skills that are very important for a sales person. In these days a sales person is more of a solution provider than an information provider to a customer.