08 Sep

Selling Skills Are Life Skills

“Everyone lives by selling something” – Robert Louis Stevenson

While this may sound a little farfetched, its true! Selling skills are not restricted to those in the sales profession alone. Every one of us has been involved in selling something at some point – whether it is selling our skills in a job interview or negotiating terms of a contract with a prospective employer or vendor or selling an idea to our stakeholders, all of us are salespeople.

Here are some selling skills that go beyond aiding the process of a sale and extend its application to other organizational roles and life:

  1. 1.Resilience
    Salespeople are sometimes referred to as ‘thick skinned’ – that’s because they do not get impacted by rejection or one sales call that didn’t convert. While this sounds like a negative trait, it is one of their strongest assets and some of the best salespeople are the most resilient. Sales is not the only field where this skill is crucial – ask any research student and they will tell you!
  2. 2.Negotiation Skills
    I sometimes joke and say that my five-year-old son will become a salesman based on his current negotiation skills. Salespeople are known to be great at negotiating. They have to learn the skill early on and oftentimes to close a deal, they have to negotiate the terms of the sale multiple times before acquiring a customer. At the surface, not every job requires a lot of negotiating skills. But when you are negotiating the terms of your own employment in a new job or negotiating with vendors for the best deal, this skill always helps you get a better bargain for yourself.
  3. 3.Networking skills
    Salespeople are perhaps best known for their strong connects and networks. They are able to build rapport and establish long lasting relationships with them. Networking skill is one of the most important life skill – it teaches you the ability to connect with strangers and make them long term friends.
  4. 4.Communication skills
    Effective communication skills are key to making an impression anywhere. In a sales presentation, usually the first five to ten minutes are critical for the customer’s decision making process and how the salesperson communicates during this time, decides on the consequence of the pitch. The same applies for a job interview.
  5. 5.Listening Skills
    The best salespeople are the ones that know how to listen – while it may sound like a cliché, it is a skill that is key to becoming a successful salesperson. Effective sales people are trained to listen to their prospects/customers very early on in their careers. However, listening effectively is not restricted to those in sales – PULSE surveys are used to ‘listen’ to employees’ feedback in organizations, Design teams often talk to users and listen to their feedback to improve user experience.

So, no matter what career choice you ultimately make, you would need to work on your selling skills to be successful. So, go ahead and sharpen your selling skills!