Do you ever feel like you could be selling at a higher level than you currently are?
The reality is that you could be doing more to improve your sales skills.
There’s a very small group of top-performing salespeople out there today who are absolutely crushing it.
They’re selling at the highest level possible.
Those top performers share certain sales skills that allow them to consistently achieve a tremendous level of success in selling.
In this video, I’m going to show you 6 critical sales skills of all top performers. Check it out:
1. Know your value.
One of the most critical sales skills you can develop is simply the ability to recognize the value you bring to the people you sell to. If you feel like your offering doesn’t bring real value into the lives of your prospects, then you’re never going to be able to sell at the highest level. You must recognize the real-life value that you bring to your prospects and customers. That starts with understanding how you can help a prospect get from point A to point B—and that transition from point A to point B should be pretty transformational. Understanding the value of getting prospects from where they are to where they want to go is crucial to becoming a top performer.
2. Be curious.
One of the most important sales skills that top performers share is usually thought of as more of a trait: they’re curious. But being actively curious is also a skill that we can develop as salespeople. I always think of that old TV show Colombo, about the detective who was always asking questions, finding out what’s going on, and really trying to understand what happened in every situation. That’s exactly how top performers behave; they’re just really curious. All the time.
The best salespeople understand that they’re trying to solve a problem, just like a doctor who’s trying to diagnose what’s going on with a patient. The more curious we are, the more focused we’ll be on understanding what’s really happening underneath the surface. This will ultimately help us connect where prospects are to where they want to go, giving us the confidence to know that we can help them get from point A to point B.
3. Hold your ground.
Another critical sales skill for any top performer is the ability not to give in to every single prospect or client demand. In other words, hold your ground. You have a set of rights as a salesperson. You don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to do. In fact, quite often, the prospect is wrong about what they think they need. They may be demanding something that you know won’t help them.
Most salespeople immediately assume the role of a supplicant, doing whatever the prospect or client wants. But top performers hold their ground. They don’t just give in. Instead, they help the prospect or client get to where they need to go. It’s more like the relationship of a coach helping a student get to where they need to be, as opposed to a subordinate relationship where the salesperson just does whatever they’re told. Hold your ground.
4. Have a system.
One of the biggest distinctions of top performers is that they have a selling system. They use a specific approach when selling. This is one of the most foundational sales skills when it comes to being a top-tier salesperson. Having a system is not just about using the concrete sales skills that we have. It brings all of those skills together by enabling us to think systematically about how we’re taking our prospects through the sales process. The more we have a system and use a thoughtful approach to selling, the more likely we are to consistently close deals.
Unfortunately, most salespeople and small business owners are haphazard about the way they sell. This means that, even if they have some really strong sales skills, those skills are not being leveraged in a cohesive way. They’re just kind of doing whatever comes to mind; throwing a bunch of stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks. But top performers have a systematic approach. The more we map out our sales process, the more successful we’ll be. Period.
5. Solve problems.
Top performers consistently help their prospects see that they can solve their problems. This ability to focus on solving problems is a critical sales skill. Most salespeople just try to pitch with a focus on features and benefits. Instead, top performers use an approach that demonstrates how they can really solve the challenges at hand. The more you can show that you’re able to solve their problems, the more likely you are to close a deal without price pushback.
6. Be N.S.O.
This is arguably the single most important sales skill. All top salespeople share the ability to hold sales together with next steps. I call this being NSO—Next Step Obsessed. Conversely, bottom and average-performing salespeople are constantly following up on their prospects. They’ve got a tickler file of prospects that they never really close. But they continue to “check back in” randomly, or on a monthly or quarterly basis. Meanwhile, top performers leverage the powerful sales skill of holding every phase of the sale together with a clear next step, in the calendar.
When you’re NSO, nothing is slipping through the cracks. Every selling situation is staying on track. And you know exactly where every deal is in your pipeline because it’s always held together with that clear next step. Being NSO is one of the most important sales skills you can develop to sell at a top-performing level.
So there you have it. Now you know the 6 Critical Sales Skills of All Top Performers. Which of these sales skills did you find most useful for your own selling strategy? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below to join the conversation.
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About the Author Marc Wayshak
Marc is is the best-selling author of three books on sales and leadership, including the highly acclaimed titles Game Plan Selling, The High-Velocity Sales Organization and his forthcoming book, Sales Conversations, Mastered.
Marc is a contributor to Inc, HubSpot, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Huffington Post Business. He also hosts a popular YouTube channel on sales strategy with over 103,000 subscribers.
Marc helps thousands of people his data-driven, science-based approach to selling that utilizes all the best tools available to sales organizations today.