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10 Soft Skills Every Salesperson Should have to Succeed

10 Soft Skills Every Salesperson Should have to Succeed

Did you know, that every salesperson needs a combination of technical skills and soft skills to succeed? Yes, sales is one of the few professions which requires that you have certain key soft skills in order to win customers/ clients, attract better deals and achieve targets.

The sales industry is a fast-growing one and also the most dominant department in most product and service focused businesses.

This means that the revenue streams of most business directly lies on the shoulders of the sales department. Whether the revenue targets will be met or not, it will depend on the sales team.

It is extremely important as a salesperson to have key skills to help in your daily transactions with existing or prospective customers.

Here are 10 essential skills every salesperson should have.

1. Effective Communication Skills

As a sales person, 90% of your work is done through communicating with clients. Whether you are communicating in written or verbal form, your message should be clear and captivating enough to convince the customer to make a purchase. Not only that, but your tone and manner of delivering the message should also be on check. Your message carries more power if you are able to leverage storytelling to pitch your product or service to the customer.

2. Active Listening Skills

Active listening is a skill every salesperson must learn. This means paying rapt attention to the customer without interrupting them. In business, the customer is always right.  Which means as a salesperson, you should be able to go the extra mile to listen to the customer.  Sometimes the customer just wants to be heard and your ability to guide the conversation to flow without necessarily taking the conversion into your hands is important.

3. Empathy

This means putting yourself in the customer’s shoes so that you can better appreciate what he/she is feeling or going through. This makes the customer feel you have their best interest in mind. Being empathetic actually makes you discover customer’s pain points and emotions so that you know when to push ahead or hold back on certain things.

The truth is people would not buy from someone who doesn’t consider their feelings and opinions. Hence you need to respect what the customer or prospect is always looking for someone who will emphatize with them to solve their problems.


4. Good Negotiation Skills

Selling is all about conviction and negotiation. This is why it is extremely important as a salesperson to have good negotiation skills to help in your daily operations. It helps you to always prepare for alternative scenarios in case the intended discussion is shifted by the customer.

Salespersons with this skill are good at handling and closing deals because they don’t easily accept the customer’s objections. They are proactive in coming up with alternative solutions to convince the customer to make a purchase.

5. Problem Solving Skills

This is one of the most important skills every salesperson must have. You are not only selling products or services to people, but you are actually helping the customer to solve their problems. Hence your ability to effectively understand the customer’s needs and recommend the right solution to them matters a lot.

6. Emotional Intelligence

As a sales person, it is essential to be emotionally intelligent. You must learn to understand how people feel and be able to identify emotions either by face, voice or picture. That will help you to manage the customer’s and your own emotions. For instance, If you’re able to pick up on the client’s mood, you’ll know how to proceed with your conversation.

If the customer is in a good mood? Perhaps that’s the best time to close the deal. If otherwise, gently ask him/her if everything is ok, and listen to what they have to say.

Really being emotionally intelligent is a valuable soft skill to have both in your career and in your personal life.

7. Time Management 

Time they say is money, and so as a salesperson, you need to have good time management skills. One great way to manage time well is to prioritize.  Time can never be enough because the number of hours in a day does not change. You must learn to focus on the urgent and important tasks first. For instance, replying to your customers’ concerns and queries should be a priority for you so that your clients will feel valued.

Again, you must also learn to make good use of tools like CRM  in your daily operations. Be very disciplined in filling and putting all the data that is needed so that you can find the tool useful.

8. Optimism

This is one key trait that as a salesperson you must have. It means being hopeful and confident that things will work out no matter how they may be at any moment. It is very key because there are times you may have loads of unanswered emails from leads, hung-up phone calls, and other forms of rejections.

Understand that not every lead you speak to may be interested in your product or service. That will help you to be optimistic in such situations so that you will not be traumatized health wise.

9. Tactful Prospecting Skills

While it is important to maintain a solid relationship with existing clients in order to build loyalty and some level of trust, it is equally relevant to have a tactful approach to identifying prospects at every point in time. Your approach has to be very strategic in that you need to build your conversations around the pain points of prospects and let them feel that you understand their day-to-day problems.

Perhaps you can ask for referrals from existing loyal customers at a discount as a way of scouting for prospective clients. When this is done effectively, it can increase conversion rate which will eventually result in meeting revenue targets.

10. Public Speaking

As a salesperson, you regularly speak with clients and prospects on a daily basis. As a result you can’t do away with this trait. Whether or not you are an introvert or extrovert doesn’t really matter. You need to master the act of speaking in public because you would not want to freeze up one day in the middle of a crucial business meeting.

If you are a sales professional, these soft skills will go a long way to benefit you.

For the employer who is looking forward to helping your sales team with these skills, or an individual who wants to take your sales career to the next level take advantage of reading more career development tips on SKB Journal.



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Samuel Kwame Boadu