While you can’t flip a switch and gain the skills of a great salesperson, you can continue to build habits and work to that goal with everything you do.
When salespeople struggle, it’s usually because they lack the requisite skills to be successful. Some of these skills are inherent in a salesperson’s personality, while others can be taught and learned. In general there are 10 major skills that every great salesperson has. That’s not to say that there aren’t good salespeople who are missing a skill or two, but most great salespeople use all of them. So if you are trying to improve your own sales ability, or trying to spot who in your company fits this mold or who in your company has some room for improvement,
Here are the top-ten skills of a great salesperson:
1. Focus on the Right Prospects – In other words, great salespeople focus on the prospects who are most likely to generate the most money. This means focusing on large donors and prospects who have donated to similar businesses before.
2. Utilize Experts to Fully Understand Customer Requirements – A common problem salespeople run into is not being able to empathize with their prospects. Great salespeople eliminate this problem by communicating with experts in the same fields as their prospects. By speaking to an expert, a salesperson will already have a good idea of what their prospects are looking for.
3. Thoroughly Research Potential Prospects and Their Businesses – Every great salesperson fully researches their prospects before they ever make first contact. By knowing a prospect and his business, a salesperson can build go strong rapport right off the bat.
4. Don’t Talk for Talking Sake– Great salespeople ask a lot of questions and listen to what their prospects have to say. They don’t fog up the conversation by talking just for the sake of talking. Asking questions and listening makes prospects feel that their salesperson actually has their best interest at heart.
5. They Act Like Experts and Problem Solvers– This goes hand in hand with #3. Great Salespeople use the knowledge they have gained from researching their prospects. They act like they are an expert and a problem solver when talking to a prospect, not like a person trying to sell them something. Demonstrating knowledge and acting this way is another great way to gain the trust of your prospect.
6. They Use the Right Marketing Tools With Prospects– The best salespeople know what messages they need to send their prospects. In other words, why should they buy from you, why they shouldn’t buy from somewhere else, how past customers feel about the product etc.
7. Observant of the Conversation with Prospects– Knowing when to make the final pitch is another quality that great salespeople have. A great salesman can read the pulse of a conversation—this is one of those skills that some people just have—and know when the prospect is ready to buy.
8. Be A Closer– Knowing how to close the sale is equally as important as the rest of this list. In addition to knowing when to close, great salespeople know how close.
9. Connect with Prospects and Customers– Great salespeople go out of their way to build long-term relationships with both prospects and customers. They are always kind and respectful. A great salesperson recognizes the opportunity that customers and prospects can offer for the future.
10. They Know How to Get Referrals– Getting prospects and customers to give referrals is perhaps the most important skill of all. Referrals are the highest percentage prospects and are the best way to grow your sales. All great salespeople know how to ask for referrals and have a process to follow up on them with.
Now, these are not all of the skills of a great salesperson, but we do believe that they expend throughout the big picture.
Do you think we missed any crucial skills? Leave your idea on what the skills of a great salesperson are in the comments below!