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Manonita Rathore
Gig economy and behaviour &soft skills Expert
Asked a question last year

What Kind of Skills Do You Need for a Job in Sales?

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Manonita Rathore
Gig economy and behaviour &soft skills Expert

Selling is a multifaceted and demanding line of work. In addition to being able to sell, salespeople must have excellent communication, interpersonal, and customer service skills. 

Sales skills fall into several broad but partially overlapping categories.

Position-Based Sales Skills

These are skills that include job titles and tasks specific to task position , such as sales manager, accounts manager, territory manager, public relations, marketing director, and client acquisition.

Communication

In sales, you will need to communicate with potential and current customers, clients, suppliers, and vendors. Some of these skills are very distinct, even technical, such as being fluent in a second or third language, knowing how to write clear and accurate reports, and being comfortable with public speaking.

Personal Mastery Skills

These are personal habits, qualities, traits, and values that you can use on the job. Like other skills , you must practice these in order to develop them, but they do not require training so much as personal willingness.

Customer Service

Finally, you’ll need complex skills, such as  customer service the ability to forecast how the market will change in the coming months and years, and the ability to identify target audiences and appropriate pricing for your products.

 

Sujai Adithya
Business Development and Banking & Financial Services Expert
  • Listening - This doesn’t just mean staying quiet when a lead or client is talking. The real skill is active listening. Sales professionals who master this skill ask relevant questions and really make the person feel that their problems, pain points and ideas are understood.
  • Communication - This isn’t just what you say but how you deliver it, from tone to emphasis, as well as when you choose to stay silent and let the client talk. Effective communication is the salesperson’s best tool, but it takes time to perfect.
  • Rapport building - Why do people choose to buy products or services? It can often come down to trust. In fact, research shows that customers value trust and credibility as among the most important parts of the buying experience. A talented salesperson will be able to use patience, personality, charm and credibility to get leads to like them, to trust their word and ultimately, to make a purchase.
  • A great memory - Salespeople need to be able to recall crucial facts or figures at a moment’s notice, from the details of a product to the projected ROI. Not knowing these figures wastes time and can put a prospect off, while snap recall could be the key weapon in closing the sale.
  • Collaboration - Salespeople don’t always perform best when working alone. Sometimes the best results can be achieved when working as a team, and this could mean collaboration with a client too.
  • The art of persuasion - A good salesperson doesn’t trick you into buying something. They are simply experts at highlighting the reasons why it’s a good idea and demonstrating the value of the product.
  • Adaptability - Salespeople are often thrown into changing situations. If something doesn’t go to plan or a customer throws a curve ball at you, would you be able to adapt your approach without missing a beat? This is a strong sign of an excellent salesperson.
  • Resilience - It is crucial for sales professionals to have thick skin. Don’t take rejection too personally, but you should also ensure you take feedback and criticism on board.
  • Objection handling - The way to turn a lead into a customer is to systematically and persuasively overcome their objections. Once there is no good reason not to make a purchase decision, most of the battle is won.
  • Public speaking - Salespeople don’t just sell over the phone, they often need to present, demonstrate or pitch, striking the right balance between giving a polished performance and speaking to prospects with real passion.