The Top Sales People Will Have These Five Key Skills:
Empathy with your client– The dictionary defines empathy as; the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another. It means you need to be able to put yourself in your clients’ shoes. You need to look at things through their eyes, feel how their feeling and genuinely care about what’s important to them, putting your own ideas and feelings about what’s right for them aside.
Long-term relationship-building skills– Many sales people and companies for that matter spend more time and money getting a client than they do keeping them. That is so backwards. From the time you first make contact with a client you should thinking long term relationship. Once a client has purchased from you and they like and trust you, they are more apt to purchase more from you and to become ambassadors for you. When you develop the kind of long term, friendly relationship with your client and they are singing your praises to everyone they know, the business of sales gets so much easier.
The ability to work with people in other departments of your company– You need to have good working relationships with all departments of your company. Remember, you’re all in this together working towards one common goal, to make the client happy so the company turns a profit. People in other departments are not the enemy as many sales people treat them.
In-depth knowledge of the market– There’s no better way to differentiate yourself from everyone else who sells a similar product or service than to know everything that’s going on in your market. Do you know what your competitors sell, how much they sell it for, or what their customer service is like? Are there any new trends? Dig in, do your homework and find out everything you can about your market. Many times the sales person with the most knowledge about the market ends up winning the sale, regardless of price.
A dedication to customer service– The sale does not end when you collect the check or the contract is signed. It continues on after the sale through the delivery process and for years and years to come. Remember, you’re building long term relationships, so get involved in the entire process. Don’t leave everything up to someone else in your company. Stay involved, even if it’s only to communicate with the client. This kind of follow up will pay off in increased repeat and referral business.
- 100% acceptance of responsibility for results
- Above-average ambition and desire to succeed
- Above-average willpower and determination
- Intensely goal-oriented
- High level of customer empathy
- Impeccably honest
- Does not take “no” personally
- Ability to approach strangers even when it is uncomfortable
Source: Harvard Business School