A salesperson skill is the ability to exhibit a sequence of selling behaviour that is fundamentally related to attaining a performance. I have provided some key skills required in selling in this article.
Key Skills Required in Selling
Sales skill level refers to the individual salesperson’s learned proficiency at performing the necessary sales tasks and includes interpersonal skills, leadership skills and the necessity of having other skills depend on the selling situation. Different kinds of skills are needed for different types of selling tasks and selling situations.
The salesperson’s current selling experience and the extensiveness and content of the firm’s sales training programmes determine skill level of a salesperson.
Sales managers require the following skills to succeed in sales job.
1.) Technical Skills
This is the ability to perform specific sales tasks, have great depth of product and market knowledge, and be skilled in all aspects of selling and selling process.
2.) Human Skill
This is the ability to lead, build morale and effort, motivate and manage conflicts among subordinates. It involves recognising and respecting the views and contributions of other members of the sales team.
3.) Conceptual Skill
This is the ability to understand how one’s employee’s job input relates to the total operation of the organization. Also, it is the ability of the salesperson to diagnose and assess management problems, and proffer solutions to them in good time.
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Key Knowledge Required In Selling
The following are six knowledge areas in sales job;
- Company Knowledge: A salesperson is expected to have knowledge of the company’s history, organization as well as marketing mix and company policy towards customers and internal customers as well.
- Product Knowledge: The salesperson should know how the product is produced, the product’s components, its use, benefits, price, and distribution and promotion.
- Market Knowledge: The salesperson has to know the competitiors, the quality and prices of their brands as well as their promotion and distribution strategies. Knowledge of customers and government laws and regulations are required as well.
- Sales Techniques: The salesperson must know the act of selling, sales talk, selling process, including handling objections and closing sale.
- Work Organization: This requires the salesperson to spend adequate time with customers. The salesperson should learn to spend more time with customers to enable him/her accomplish more exchanges and contribute more to overall sales and marketing objectives.
- Reporting: Customers require information from the company and the company needs customer related information for the benefit of the two parties. Salespeople should have adequate knowledge of how to make field reports for use by management in decision making. Sales people also communicate company information regarding its products or brand to customers.
Characteristics Of A Good Salesperson
Here are some of the characteristics a good salesperson should possess;
- Communication ability
- Accommodation ability
- Positive mental attitude
- Common sense
- Ability to appreciate other people
- Imaginative ability.
The ability of the salesperson to communicate effectively with different people at different levels. Salesperson need to be fluent and eloquent enough to communicate with any prospects or members of an organisation’s buying centre where they need to make sales calls and presentations. They must be careful in their choice of words.
At times, the salesperson needs to influence the receptionist to get in to see the decision maker, and at other times they will be dealing directly with people at the higher management level. Therefore making sure their communication skills are top notch becomes critical.
This describes the ability of the salesperson to get along with others with lifestyles and self-concepts and from all works of life. Salespeople meet and deal with people of varied lifestyles and personality or self-concepts and as such should be trained to get along with each and everyone they meet.
This is the ability of the salesperson to show concern about the problems and feelings of their prospects. They need the ability to show them “I feel your concern” and also be seen to be ready to proffer solutions to their problems.
Positive Mental Attitude
Sales job does not have room for people who are whiners and complainers. This is because whiners and complainers do not last long as they will be too busy complaining about everything to be able to sell anything for the organization and hence, achieve little or virtually nothing positive in the end.
Sales people must exhibit common sense in all aspect of what they do. Salespeople that bring trouble to the organisation are not required. The sales people to be hired are those who have good heads on their shoulders and who show common sense in terms of exhibiting purposive behaviour in selling.
Salespeople are required to be down to earth. Even if a salesperson is a “goal getter” type, the ability to be humble cannot be compromised. Being humble can be an advantage when situations demand some humility and respect.
Ability To Appreciate Other People
Salespeople must have the ability to recognising good perspectives of people they meet. They do not have to be cynical about things, otherwise they will not make much sales for the firm. A lot of people have bad sides, no doubt, salespeople should acknowledge the good in people they meet.
Sales job requires people that have the ability to find their way off of a desert island with only a safety pin. Sales job is survival of the fittest. It requires some tact and innovative behaviour to excel in difficult situations. This suggests that salesforce should not yield to challenges but be self-sufficient and prepared to do battle in the sales world and survive.
To sell successfully, sales people must not only believe in the product they are presenting, they must be zealous about it as well. A salesperson must apply him or herself to the job. The enthusiasm must be perceived to be genuine, flowing in the blood and not phoney.
Salespeople are required to use their imagination whenever the situation calls for it. At times, they might need to draw upon their imagination to make some sales. They need to be creative, Imaginative to be able to close sales even when they seem to be very tasking and difficult or even impossible.