6 Sales Skills for Shining in Today’s Ultra-competitive Market

Sales is tough. Sales can be a killer way to make a living, but it takes constant work. The trick is to sharpen your communication skills and become a psychologist on the fly to get inside the heads of your customers—current ones and especially your prospective ones! So, what other sales skills do you need to make it in sales these days?

Before we get into the skills, remember that when it comes to selling, there are plenty of things you cannot control. For instance, you never know the mood your prospect will be in, or the competence of the gatekeeper that protects your prospect’s time. You can’t control industry trends, or what your competitors are doing. In fact, you could spend all day stressing about everything you can’t–but that won’t get you anywhere in sales.

The best salespeople in the world don’t worry about what’s outside their control. Instead, they focus on what they CAN control. And, the one thing they definitely can control is developing the sales skills necessary to not just survive, but thrive!

Here are six sales skills you need to work on if you want to be as successful as you’ve dreamt about:

  1. Start by setting personal goals

Most people like to make two lists of goals— one personal and one professional. Successful salespeople combine them both into one list and view all goals as personal. Your personal goals are always the “why” behind your professional goals. So, sit down and make one clear list of everything you want to accomplish in life and then go out and reach them.

  1. Network, network, network

Getting introductions is one of the most critical skills you can master to succeed in today’s market. It is every salesperson’s goal to create a full pipeline. Fortunately, it’s entirely in your control to achieve one. Ask everyone you know–friends, family, customers, and prospects–to introduce you to other people you can do business with. With the security of a full pipeline, you’ll have the confidence to connect with valuable prospects and close more sales than ever before.

  1. Establish daily goals

The best salespeople know exactly how many prospecting emails they need to send … calls they need to make … and meetings they need to set every day in order to crush their goals. Take a look at your closing ratio to determine the exact number of prospecting outreaches you need to accomplish each day. Then commit yourself to meeting those targets.

  1. Stick to your script

Research shows that people decide in just seven seconds whether or not they want to continue a conversation with a stranger. If you aren’t making the most of those first seven seconds, you’re missing out on massive opportunities to engage with prospects and close more sales. Instead of winging your opening, script out exactly what you’ll say, especially to any reservations the customer may have. Soon, you’ll be able to start a successful conversation with any prospect you choose.

  1. Don’t just ask questions … ask smart questions!

Every good salesperson knows how to ask questions to their customer to understand what they want. GREAT salespeople ask smart questions that reveal a lot more about their customers and prospects. The key is understanding what your prospect cares most about–solving the challenges right in front of them. Your questions should prompt them to open up about those challenges. Ask value-building questions throughout the sales meeting to understand how you can use your offering to solve those key problems.

  1. Find a fit

Prospects expect you to persuade them to buy your offering–and if you do just that, you’ll immediately lose their trust. Instead, focus your interaction on determining whether or not the prospect is even a good fit for what you sell. Learn to disqualify those who aren’t a fit and move on. Prospects will sit up and take notice when you adopt this approach, and they’ll be far more likely to view you as an expert.

Your prospects hear from salespeople every single week–maybe even every single day. If you sound like everybody else, your prospects will immediately put up a wall and keep you at arm’s length. To stand out from the crowd and capture their attention, look for innovative ways to connect with your prospects by breaking the pattern of normal sales. Flip the standard approach on its head.

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