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Top sales skills each professional must master

Developing sales skills is an essential part of becoming a fully fledged sales professional. For most people, the art of selling – and selling well – does not come naturally. It’s something that needs to be acquired and nurtured through training and development. These are just a few of the top sales skills that anyone with ambitions to be an exceptional sales professional needs to master.

Understanding your product

Deep product knowledge is the most basic part of great sales – if you don’t really understand the product and its benefits it will be impossible to sell effectively. Product knowledge includes understanding how a product works, what its benefits are and how it can deliver value to your target customers.

Establishing remote rapport

Selling over the phone is often more challenging than face-to-face. So, it’s a real skill to be able to build a remote rapport. Advance research can help here, enabling common ground to be established, as well as the ability to empathise and understand the other’s point of view.

Listening proactively

Selling isn’t just about speaking or convincing others, listening is just as important. Proactive listening means focusing entirely on what the prospect is saying, the objections they raise and the potential opportunities that may exist for progress. Listening actively and then asking intelligent questions are both crucial to professional sales.

Effective communication

Studies have found that only 7% of communication is based on the content of what is being said. 38% of communication is about the way it is said, such as the tone of voice. Effective selling requires some attention to these attributes of communication, from subtly mirroring the prospect’s tone of voice, to ensuring you’re not speaking in a monotone and letting just enough personality shine through.

Asking clever questions

Many salespeople approach a prospect by being convinced of the benefits of their product and aggressively pushing these. The better approach is to start by asking a series of questions that are designed to identify what that person actually needs and whether there are issues that your product could solve. Then you can apply the benefits of the product to the actual needs of the customer to demonstrate specifically where value can be added.

A strategic approach to objections

Dealing with objections is just part of the process in sales. Taking a strategic approach to this not only means being prepared for likely objections but taking steps in advance to prevent them. Where objections are common it may be possible to pre-empt them before they have even been raised, clearing the path for the sale to progress.

Closing and commitment

This essential part of the process includes a number of different stages. It will be key to ensure that the right people are included in the pitch – i.e. those who are the decision makers – and that there is a focus on securing commitment from the prospect. Closing doesn’t have to be aggressive it’s much more about guiding your prospect towards reaching mutual agreement with you.

These key sales skills are essential for anyone looking to progress in a sales career. Our Key Selling Skills course will teach you how to maximise your selling potential and get ahead in your chosen career.

In-House Training with PTP

PTP stands for Practical Training for Professionals and our aim is to make our training as practical as possible so delegates can return to the workplace with skills they can implement immediately. PTP now delivers training to over 40% of the FTSE 100.

What you get for your money

What is 1-to-1 training?

1-to-1 training can be based on any of the 100 plus courses that PTP provides, it includes an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site one to one training session at your premises with one of PTP's expert trainers and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

You have the option of a line manager being involved in both telephone conferences, the second telephone conference which can be for feedback and action planning is generally scheduled during the on-site visit.

Who does 1-to-1 training suit?

Individuals taking on a new challenge or responsibilities. Professionals who want a trusted "sounding board" and thinking partner. Executives or managers who want to enhance their leadership effectiveness to achieve organizational and career success. Executives and professionals wanting to compete successfully but still retain balance in their life. Individuals who want to understand their blind spots so that they don't stand in their own way on their path to success. Executives and Professionals who want to improve their interpersonal skills so as to be more effective with bosses, peers, subordinates, or people in general. How much does 1-to-1 training cost?

A 1-to-1 training session costs from as little as £400 + VAT and will include an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site training at your premises and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

What is U-Choose?

Choose from any of the 150 plus courses that PTP provides, and choose from 1 of our 50 plus UK wide training venues. You must book for 2 or more delegates and at least 4 weeks in advance, but that’s it, the course you want where you want it. The reason we ask for a minimum of 4 weeks notice is to enable us to market the course you have scheduled to other companies and organisations. However, if we fail to sell any additional places we guarantee to run the course just for you.

How much does U-Choose Training cost?

U-choose costs the same as our normal open courses i.e. the normal delegate rate. This includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day, framed certification and comprehensive training notes. A U-Choose booking can only be confirmed once we receive payment which can be made via credit/debit card, BACS or cheque. Payment is due at least 4 weeks before the date you request. Please note to be eligible for U-Choose you must book a minimum of 2 delegates on the same course & date.