Geoffrey James, an author, journalist and freelance writer recently published a blog for Saleforce.com on sales strategy. Through conversations with over 100 top sales gurus, Geoffrey compiled a list of what he determined are the 8 most essential sales skills.
Researching Prospects – In today’s information abundant society, there is a high probability that your prospects know all about you, your firm and your competition. So it is important that you add value to the sales process by knowing as much as you can about your prospects business, their needs and their customers.
Planning Meetings – At the conclusion of every engagement, make sure there is some form of a commitment from the prospect/customer. Whether it is a commitment to buy or just a follow-up meeting, make sure that the process is moving forward.
Rapport Building – Build a relationship with your prospect. Show them that you care and you will have a better likelihood of winning over their trust and business.
Asking Questions – Make sure you ask your prospects the right questions. Understand all of their needs, and being inquisitive can help show the prospect that you care about their needs and want to actively understand their problems to find a solution.
Active Listening – There is a saying that we have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Make sure you are actively listening to your prospects needs and through listening you can keep your mind open to uncovering where you can truly bring the most value to their business.
Presenting Solutions – Make sure that you are presenting a “solution” to the prospects problems that encompasses all issues that have been discussed. Do not present a “one-size-fits-all” presentation as the prospect will interpret this as only trying to make a sale and not truly having concern for their needs.
Closing – Learn how to close and ask for the sale. This is the most crucial step and without it, all of the previous work is pointless.
Relationship Building – Your short-term goal with the client should be to meet their immediate needs and begin to establish a long-term relationship that positions you as an essential part of their business framework.
A link to the original article can be found here