Essential Sales Skills

  • Introduction
  • 6 essential sales skills


In order to be successful in sales it is imperative that you understand what is really going on.  The common misconception is that sales is about money, or it is about the product you are selling.  Both of these are incorrect.  Sales is about people. Sales is a transfer of enthusiasm.  If you don’t connect with the person you are selling to, you wont be successful.

Sales is about identifying a problem, and solving that problem.  You are not selling a product, you are selling a solution.  A common saying among salesmen is “You don’t sell the steak, you sell the sizzle.” You are selling peace of mind. Don’t talk about the product, talk about the peace of mind the product brings.  Talk about the way the problem is solved.

With this foundation of the sales interaction, now you can add the following 6 essential skills and enjoy greater success.

5 essential sales skills of the modern salesperson

1. Expertise:

You have to know what you’re talking about.  If you are unsure of yourself or your product it will probably shine through. You must be well prepared.  There is no substitute for experience but if you don’t have experience then you must read and prepare the best you can.  You should know the common problems your customer is worried about and you must be prepared to give them peace of mind that if they purchase from you they have one less burden, not one more burden.  

2. Enthusiasm:

If you are not excited and enthusiastic about what you are doing, chances are you will not be successful in sales.  People respond to energy, its a fact.  If you have never noticed this in your daily life just play around with it and watch the responses you get.  Energy is contagious.  If you have positive energy you will attract people and influence them more.  If you are naturally a low energy person don’t worry, this is a skill that can be learned and harnessed.  But the only way is to just do it!  Fake it till you make it!  Smile, look people in the eye, get excited over small things like the weather, or someones cool shoes.  You can do it!

3. Emotional Intelligence:

Emotional Intelligence is one of the greatest skills in sales and in life.  Learn to LISTEN!!  You must be able to read between the lines of what people are saying or not saying.  Learn to watch facial expressions and body language.  Learn to hear the tone of voice of the person you are conversing with.  Learn to observe all these things in yourself as well.  This will make you a great communicator and improve your sales and improve your life.

4. Confidence:

Salespeople have to be confident – but there’s a big difference between confidence fueled by ego and confidence backed by hard-work and humility.   Don’t be shy.  Don’t be afraid of rejection.  Believe in yourself, believe in the solution you are selling.  If you have a product or service worth a damn then there are some people who need you!  A rejection is not personal.  Learn to move from NO to NO without losing your enthusiasm or confidence.  If you have trouble with confidence don’t worry, just set a goal to get 20 rejections.  The first few rejections might sting, but then you realize its not so bad.  The more rejections you get the closer you get to a sale, but only if you keep your confidence!  Laugh with your customer!  Laughing is a great way of exuding confidence (within limits of course, see #3)

5. A knack for narrative:

For an experienced or semi experienced salesperson, this is the tip that can take your skills and success to the next level. Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we have for engaging with people. The ability to draw upon experience and selectively present relevant stories is a highly creative skill that helps establish a real connection with prospects.  If you are a master you can tell a story in two sentences.  Don’t over talk, just give the person you are talking to a short journey – a beginning, a middle, and an end.  “I know how you feel… I felt that way too once…  I found a solution and it is my product!”

Try it out! Have fun because when you have fun your customer will have fun, so let loose!