I’ve spent more than a two-decades in sales and now training salespeople. In this time, I have learned that there are some sales skills that you just can’t teach.
Tony Robbins says it the best:
I couldn’t agree with him more. The best salespeople permeate certain character assets that set them apart as top performers. It’s your goal as a salesperson to build relationships with your companies top producers to gain insight into their success. However, if you lack specific skills, it might be time for a change. Read below, evaluate your skills against these. Do you possess these sales skills?
A naturally curious salesperson has the ability to ask intelligent questions to uncover a customers problem. They ask open-ended questions to gather data to realize the impact the problem is causing. They tie the problem to a quantifiable measurement to realize the impact. And finally, they present a solution that meets the customer’s need.
I have worked with all kinds of salespeople – some honest and some deceptive. I pride myself on doing what is right for the customer and my employer. I’d say 95% of employers strive to do the right thing for their customers, even if it costs the company revenue. If you lack integrity, you put yourself before the customer and view yourself as the most important person in a room.
Skills can be taught. Drive is inherent. Salespeople who challenge themselves, learning new selling techniques, volunteering to take on new projects or become a mentor to greenbacks, will succeed. Marcus Cauchi from Sandler Training puts it this way, “You cannot motivate anyone to do anything ever. Why? It stems from personal responsibility.” Motivation is not contagious. It cannot be transferred from one person to the next. If somebody lacks motivation there is nothing you can do, say, teach, show, coach, or bribe them with that will change that. Check out ways to motivate your salespeople.
If you are not a problem-solver, then you will not make it in sales. Why? Salespeople are problem-solvers. Every product that was ever created, was created to solve a need – a problem. Every solution was designed to solve a business problem. Salespeople can look at a problem and think “how can I solve this?” They are able to move every obstacle in their way path because they meet challenges head-on, look for solutions, and solve problems.
No matter how well you plan your sales strategy, chances are, something will go wrong. I’ve had deals, forecasted at 95%, get dropped at the last minute. Yep! Funds were reallocated to another project. I was upset for a few hours. But there is nothing you can do except continue to nurturing your prospect until the project is back on the table. All you can do is learn, grow, be resilient, and continue to forge forward.
Successful salespeople are self-aware of themselves. They can quickly assess their strengths and weaknesses. They address the area that requires improvement. As Dr. Phil says, “we can’t change what we don’t acknowledge“. Self-aware salespeople don’t change their sales strategy when they have a bad month or quarter. Knowing where you are is the first step in adjusting and educating yourself. Knowing your strengths as well as weaknesses by being self-aware and taking accountability of your action is necessary to survive in the competitive sales scenario.
7. EMOTIONAL AWARENESS
Salespeople who spend a lot of time in the field has learned how to “read” their prospect. They look at their body language – eyes, head, arms. By reading their prospect, they can determine if the prospect is engaged in the conversation. Are they nodding in agreement, expressionless, arms crossed or even falling asleep. By analyzing body language, salespeople determine if they need to be more engaging or laid back.
Coachability is a skill that every salesperson must have. It seems like every week there are new training methodologies and sales enablement tools hitting the market. According to Statista, businesses have spent $87B on learning and development. Employers expect their employees to coachable to learn new concepts and ideas – Einstein said it best- “Once you stop learning, you start dying.” If you can’t be coached, you shouldn’t be in sales.
What are you thoughts? What would you add to this list?