Sales is an integral part of most if not all businesses. Whether a company produces a product or a service, it is important that they have the right salesperson or individuals to take the business forward to continuing success.

As a business owner, it is essential to understand the qualities required for a salesperson, it may be that you are a sole trader and therefore need some pointers on how to sell, or perhaps you are looking to take on a salesperson to bring in orders. UML have put together some information on what key skills are needed in a great salesperson.

It is worth knowing that although there are some individuals who are naturally born salespeople, it is possible for most people to learn how to sell.

A great salesperson must be a good communicator and listener, and they should have first-class customer service skills. They should be persistent but not pushy. A show of confidence will make customers think more highly of a product, and enthusiasm in what is being sold will captivate interest.

Communication is Key

Communication is the most important of all skills, being able to converse with someone new and get their attention early on when trying to sell any product will increase the possibility of achieving the goal. When discussing a product or service, in-depth knowledge is essential, this will gain trust. A salesperson must convey the benefits of what they are selling and how that product will improve or enhance the customer’s life.

Listening, Seeing & Understanding

When engaging with a potential customer, it is important to listen. A salesperson needs to hear what a customer or client wants, there may be various solutions, but ultimately a customer wants to be heard and not feel they have been pushed to purchase something they neither want nor need. Observing body language can be beneficial as being able to understand how someone is feeling can help a salesperson change tack and bring a sales pitch back on track.

Determination & Drive

Selling can be challenging; knockbacks can be plentiful. The number one thing to remember is that it is not personal, and a good salesperson will be resilient and ready to sell again. Self-motivation and drive are essential qualities to succeed in selling, the desire to meet and exceed targets will certainly increase revenue in a business.

How to Sell – The Process

Generating Leads – Leads can come from many sources including websites, networking, advertising, leaflets or mailshots, exhibition stands and word of mouth. Once you have your lead, call the potential customer, find out more about what they are looking for and their expectations of what you need to offer, then initiate an appointment, face to face is always the best.

This is the presentation of the product, providing a customer with the advantages of investing in a product. Listening to their objections and identifying solutions to meet their needs is crucial. This could be a financial solution in finding a way to purchase a product or suggesting an alternative product more suitable for their needs.

Closing the Deal – A good salesperson knows when it is time to close the deal, this is when the customer is still interested or enthusiastic about the product. Offering a discount for accepting on the day or within 7 days is a great incentive. If the customer wants to think about it, following up with a friendly call the next day can prevent a deal from going cold. Perhaps inform the customer of current stock levels and delivery information for the product they are interested in, or a date for commencement of work that they may be considering.

Customer Service Skills

Good customer service is the most important thing that is always remembered. After a sale, the customer service must be excellent, even if a product is exceptional, if a customer has received poor customer service, this will have a negative impact on a business. Many consumers have a preference for good reviews and good customer service is an important factor when it comes to choosing a company to engage.

A great salesperson is a valuable asset to a business, not only for sales, but they can also suggest ways to generate business when leads are limited and can adapt to changes in the market accordingly. When selling any product or service, a salesperson must keep their learning and knowledge up to date, sometimes refresher sales courses can be beneficial, and these are easily accessible online.