Whether your year ahead is filled with out of town business partner meetings, conventions with potential connections, or composed mostly of in-office interactions, both your business and personal brand can benefit by sharpening up your sales skills.  Don’t think that just because you don’t have “sales” in your job title or even in your side of the company that you don’t need or want to embrace a sales mentality.  Everyone is selling.

 

In the article by Jeff Haden “9 Sales Skills You Absolutely Must Have Even If You’re Not in Sales”, best selling author Geoffrey James (Business Without the Bullsh*t)  distilled sales skills down to 9 basic elements.

For an even simpler view, these items can be grouped into three main areas.

 

  1. Do your homework.

Preparation before meeting someone can not only boost your confidence, but really help your meeting focus on what’s important.  Try to research a bit about who you are meeting and get a handle on what their challenges are, and why you might be of help to them.

  1. Be sure to really listen.

Yes, you did your homework, and you have some ideas of what this person might appreciate, but before you start pitching, start listening.  Try to really keep hearing and understanding what the other person says and incorporate that first hand information into your approach and solutions.  Using this information is vital to ensuring that your proposal is the most current and applicable solution.

  1. Manage a productive closing.

Whether you are asking for and getting a decision in person right now, or agreeing to meet again, be sure to nail down the next steps before you part.

 

 

Hayden says that “if you think of “selling” as explaining the logic and benefits of a decision, then everyone does need sales skills”, and everyone can benefit from these few tips.  In fact, embracing the skills that are typically used by sales people might not result in a monetary gain, but they may simply soften articles in your path and make your day run smoother.  Who wouldn’t want that?