Basic Skills in Salesmanship
I am tasked to give a talk on effective salesmanship in preparation for the 26th NEGROS TRADE FAIR of the Association of Negros Producers. The picturesof products ( except for food and Natural and Organics) in this article are the Bulawan entries for 2011.
Thanks to Anton Manzo for his photos.
This is the absolutely most important skill a salesperson can cultivate. Why? Because all the other skills are based on persistence. If you have every other sales skill listed below but you give up at the first hint of a “no,” then you’ll never have a chance to use those skills.
Self-confidence doesn’t end with persistence; if you believe in yourself and your product, your prospects will be inclined to believe as well. Self-confidence will also incline you towards a more assertive closing approach, which is vital to your selling success.
Mother and Child by R. Martinez
Communication covers a lot of territory. I am not talking about superb orator skills here, but the ability to speak clearly and in a manner that is easy to understand. Sales is all about talking to people and getting them to understand what you are trying to communicate.
Ability to Listen
Along with speaking, a great salesperson knows when to stop talking and listen. They never cut someone off while they are talking, because in doing so they would fail to hear a key element in identifying what that person’s needs might be.
Emotion plays a major role in sales. There’s an old saying that “features tell, benefits sell.” Features are the facts about your product or service; benefits are their emotional connotations. For example, a 0% interest rate on a credit card is a feature… being able to save money while buying the things you need is a benefit! Persuasiveness is the skill that allows you to convey these emotions to the customer. If you can make your prospect feel how great it will be to own your product and how much their life will be improved when they have it, you can sell it to them.
Building Strong Relationships
This sales skill is just as important to a salesperson’s business life as it is to their personal life. Building and maintaining healthy relationships is the key to developing a strong network. And networking will allow you to reach far, far more prospects than you could manage on your own.
Even the best salesperson is a work in progress. You can always find a way to develop your skills, work on your pitch, and learn more about the products and services you sell. But the drive to constantly improve yourself has to come from within. Your manager might direct you to make some changes if your sales start to plummet, but if you are constantly working to become a better salesperson you can start working on the issue
Asks Great Questions
Salespeople are naturally inquisitive and know that in order to isolate what the real need or desire is in the buyer, they need to ask questions that will lead them to the answer. They naturally ask questions because they have a desire to help solve their problem.
Another natural skill is the desire and ability to solve problems. Great salespeople are always solving problems. The ability to hone in on what the buyer’s problem is and offering suggestions that will effectively solve the problem with respect to what products or services you sell, generally results with a sale.
I am not necessarily speaking of your personal surroundings, but more with your thoughts and methods of planning. Sales people have a keen ability to break things down into smaller steps and organize a plan of action. They know how to analyze what their goal is and in what order the steps need to be in order to reach that goal.
Self-Starter and Self-Finisher
A successful sales person moves forward on their own. They never need anyone to tell them when it is time to go to work because they know that if they do not work they will not earn. They are also very persistent to finish what they start. They achieve their goals, even if they are small ones.
Positive Self Image
Best Sales People rarely allow negatives that are either spoken to them or about them to effect what they are trying to accomplish because they know who they are and what they are capable of doing.
Well Mannered and Courteous
The best sales people are very well mannered. You may not realize it, but good manners is a way of showing respect for others. People are attracted to those that respect them and mutual respect is fundamental in building lasting relationships with people..including buyers.
Person of Integrity
Honesty in sales is so important and it is almost impossible for this skill to be taught. You or the person you are looking to hire is either a person of integrity or are not. Be as analytical as possible on the evaluation of this skill.