Don’t be fooled—excelling in sales isn’t about having the right talents. Instead, it takes work to develop the skills you need to crush it.
In this video, I’m taking you through the four most important skills in sales that, once developed, will skyrocket you to an entirely new realm of success.
Now before we get started, tell me, does this sound familiar?
- “He’s a born salesman.”
- “She’s truly a natural.”
- “What I wouldn’t give for their talents.”
If you’ve been on a sales floor for more than a year, you’ve probably heard one of these phrases uttered around the cubicles. Someone, usually a high performer, makes their job look easy. Hitting their numbers, bringing on new buyers like ants to a picnic. And they rarely, if ever, look like they’re even breaking a sweat.
As a result, their colleagues think they’ve got some god-given talent. That they’re a natural sales rep.
But the truth is, that’s bullshit.
Sure, some people are born with a leg up over others. But to be truly successful in sales, you’ve got to be a master of four skills. And sorry to break it to you, these aren’t skills you’re born with. They’ve got to be developed.
The natural-born sales rep myth is a crock.
And if you really, I mean really want to push your earning potential, excel professionally, and become the best damn sales rep you can be, then you’ve got to get great at these four sales skills.
1. Understanding the Market
You can’t even hope to achieve any sort of sales success without first understanding your market. Who are you selling to? What pain points are they experiencing? And how can you best cater your messaging to start speaking their language?
Understanding the market is foundational. And to do it correctly, you need to have a hold on two things in particular: the buyer’s journey and value proposition.
A) Buyer’s Journey
So, let’s first talk about the buyer’s journey.
The buyer’s journey is essentially the steps your buyer will take on their way to purchasing your product. A high-level look at a buyer’s journey would look like this:
The Awareness stage comes first, and this is when the buyer is first learning about their problem. Next up is Consideration where they’re weighing the pros and cons of different solutions. And finally is Decision, where (surprise, surprise) they’re finally making their decision.
Now, each market is going to have a slightly different buyer’s journey. And each buyer is going to make their way through that journey a little bit differently.
It’s your job to understand that unique buyer’s journey and guide prospects through it effectively. Now there’s a lot more to learn here, but one of the best tips I have for this is making it about the prospect.
Jeff Koser, CEO at Selling to Zebras, explained the benefit to me in an interview:
“They don’t care about your product, they care about themselves. And they have to. It’s their job. That’s why there’s such a fundamental difference between the buying journey that a prospect wants to go down versus a sales cycle that most salespeople try to conduct. And by shifting to pain, business issues, and value, you’re actually making more of the shift to the buyer’s journey that they want to participate in.”
B) Value Proposition
But not just any value proposition. One that’s built based on your buyer’s unique needs, pain points, and end goals. A value proposition, as you likely know, is what sets your product apart from the competition—what makes buying from you so much more beneficial than buying from the other guys.
There’s a lot of research that goes into crafting the right value proposition—the wording, the delivery, the specific perks and features. And when you master how to deliver yours, you’re going to find it far easier to attract the right buyers and turn them into enthusiastic customers.
2. Getting in Front of Buyers
A perfect product and a perfect pitch only get you so far. To truly succeed in sales, you need to know how to bring in buyers. Because if you can’t, you’ll be selling a perfect product to… well, no one.
Getting in front of buyers requires adept skills in two areas in particular—sales cadences and cold outreach.
When it comes down to it, sales is a numbers game. For every X prospects you reach out to, Y will actually be interested in your product. And the better you are at fine-tuning your equations to maximize interested prospects, the more successful you’ll be in this position.
The trick is knowing how and when to reach out to prospects.
On the one hand, you’ll be able to fine-tune your cadences over months and years of experience. What techniques work? What schedule amplifies response rates?
But on the other, you can also take a page or two from the books of other sales professionals through training courses. Industries usually differ a bit in buyers’ journeys but when to reach out to them tends to be the same in every business. So be cognizant of that when you’re looking for ways to up your sales game.
Another invaluable skill in getting in front of buyers is…
D) Cold Outreach
Nobody likes “bothering” people when they’re trying to get work done. But the truth is, every successful sales rep needs to know how to conduct cold outreach campaigns if they ever want to make it in this business.
Cold outreach is vital in sales. More important in some ways than other skills in fact. As Vice President of Sales at Cardone Enterprises Jarrod Glandt told me:
“I would rather have a salesperson that could get in the door and create an opportunity in the first place, than somebody who sucks on the front side of it but is average at the end.”
Email, cold calling, social selling—it all plays a vital role in bringing in new leads. And if you develop your skills and build a sophisticated strategy involving each of these methods, you’ll be well on your way to earning a healthy income.
3. Explaining the Value
How do you get prospects on board? Not just during your initial discovery calls? But throughout the sales cycle?
It all comes down to explaining the value. What can you do for them that they have no chance of being able to accomplish on their own?
That’s where this skill comes in handy. And to excel at it, you need to be able to Diagnose, Demo, and Close.
One of the most important skills for all sales reps to master, or if only to start taking seriously, is lead qualification.
Is the prospect you’re talking to actually a fit for your product or service? Is their problem closely aligned with the value of your product? And do they seem like they’re motivated to make a purchase decision sooner rather than later?
Spending just a bit more time on diagnosing your prospect’s problem and weeding out the bad buyers from the good ones is one of the best ways to cut down on your work time, maximize your efficiency, and prevent a whole lot of wasted time down the line.
Your product’s got the specs. It’s got the benefits. And it’s got the interested (if not enamored) eyes of your buyer. But in order to clinch the deal, you’ve got to prove your mettle. You’ve got to show that your product really is everything it’s cracked up to be. And that means conducting a demo.
Mastering your demo skills is a great way to showcase the true value of what you’re selling. And when you conduct it in an effective, repeatable way, you can rest easy knowing your exciting new lead is sure to sign on and give you their business soon after.
Closing is a bit of a fickle beast. Because when it comes to money and when it comes to crunch time, people can fall back on promises. They can make erratic decisions. And they can choose against their own best interests, even when their perfect solution is staring them in the face.
The best closers will be able to navigate all these unique variabilities to ensure the most successful outcomes. We actually have a very specific framework built for this stage of the sales cycle specifically. And just to hint at what’s contained there, the trick is continuously closing rather than building it all up for the end of the buyer’s journey.
But that’s all I’ll say here. For more on that subject, be sure to subscribe and check out our other videos on Salesman.org.
One thing I will say is if you want to close more deals, make it about the buyer as much as possible.
Author, speaker, and founder of The Daily Sales Daniel Disney summed it up well when he told me:
“If you want to close deals, if you want to win business, make it about them. It’s not about you. It doesn’t matter how great your product is. What is it going to do for them? Do your research on them, give them as many good examples of how it’s helped similar people, but make it 100% about them.”
4. Developing the Right Mindset
Now, there’s not a whole lot I can say about this skill. Because the topic is way bigger than this short video allows.
But essentially, you need to be able to cultivate the right mindset if you want to implement the skills we’ve talked about up until this point. You can have the knowledge, you can have the systems, and you can have the experience.
But if you want to truly crush it in sales, you need to be able to come to the table each day with the mindset of a winner. One that can stay resolute in their processes, dedicated to their goals, and passionately determined to improve, to succeed, and to grow every single day.
Now if you want to see if you have the mindset it takes to succeed, go ahead and click on over to the SalesCode Assessment linked to in the description of this video. With it, you’ll join more than 10,000 other sales professionals who took just a few minutes to find out if they have what it takes to kill it at sales and what areas in particular they need to work on.
Because mindset truly is key to success, especially in sales.
Now, I’m going to sum things up with one quote I love from my interview with founder of Sales Success Media, Scott Ingram:
“The mindsets are the foundation. It all starts with that. You can have the best relationships in the world, but if your head isn’t right and you’re not in the game, it’s not going to matter.”
Well that about wraps it up for this video!
Remember, if you want to crush it in sales, you really need to focus on four specific skills –
- Understanding the market.
- Getting in front of buyers.
- Explaining the value.
- Developing the right mindset.
With enough talent, skill, and work in each of these areas, you’ll be well on your way to closing more, earning more, and feeling a greater level of professional satisfaction than you could ever dream of.
And in the end, isn’t that what everyone wants in life?