How to Sell –The 8 EssentialSkillsDr. Oyewole O. Sarumi
Introduction Over the past 10 years, Ive had in-depthconversations with more than 75 salesgurus, as well as hundreds of salesprofessionals and managers. Based onthat experience, I have concluded thatthere are eight–and only eight–trulyessential sales skills.
If you havent mastered these simple salesskills, you wont be able to sell at thehighest level. If you have these skills already, fantastic. Ifyou dont, its time to start filling in thegaps.
1. Researching Prospects Chances are your prospect knows plentyabout you, your firm and yourcompetition. In order to add real value,youll need to know even more about theprospect, the prospects business and theprospects own customers.
2. Planning Meetings Every contact with a prospect orcustomer should end in some kind ofcommitment from the customer—anagreement to do something that willmove the process forward. This is onlypossible if you plan carefully to make ithappen.
3. Creating Rapport The first decision that every buyer makesis: "Do I want to do business with thisperson?" To create that all-importantinstant connection, youve got be curious,personable and really care about thepeople youre trying to help.
4. Asking Questions If you cant satisfy a customers real needs,you cant make a sale. And if you dontask the right questions–or if you ask themthe wrong way–youll never know whatthe customers really need, and thereforewill never be able to help.
5. Listening Actively This is even more important than askingthe right questions. When customers aretalking, its not enough to keep yourmouth closed. Youve also got to keepyour mind open to discover ways to trulybe of service.
6. Presenting Solutions This means creating and describing aspecific solution to previously agreed-upon needs. Note: It is the exact oppositeof a sales pitch, which is a one-size-fits-allway to say "all I care about is making asale."
7. Asking for Commitment All of the above is completely pointless ifthe activity doesnt eventually result insome sales. If you dont ask for thebusiness at some point, its not going tohappen. So learn how to ask.
8. Building Relationships Your short-term goal is to walk "arm in arm"with the customer as they arrive at thebest possible solution. Your long-term goalis to become part of that customersessential business network ... and viceversa.
Resources Used From: Geoffrey James - Sales Sourcecolumn on Inc.com, the worlds mostvisited sales-oriented blog. His newlypublished book is Business to BusinessSelling: Power Words and Strategies Fromthe Worlds Top SalesExperts. @Sales_Source