Successful business owners all have this one personal skill. Do you?
In a recent article, 20 business owners and CEO’s were asked about the skill they felt had contributed the most to their success… which one do you think all 20 of them stated?
That’s right… Sales Skills.
They all felt success is almost impossible, no matter what business you’re in, without solid sales skills.
The word selling can imply manipulating, pressuring, cajoling, as well as all the used-car-salesman stereotypes.
But rather than thinking of the stereotype, think of selling as explaining the logic and benefits of a decision, then everyone, business owner or not, needs sales skills for a varied range of situations in business. For example:
- convince others that an idea makes sense
- to show bosses or investors how a project or business will generate a return
- to help employees understand the benefits of a new process, etc.
Gaining sales skills will help you win financing, bring in investors, line up distribution deals, and land customers. In the early stages of starting a small business, almost everything involves sales.
In essence, sales skills are communication skills, and communication skills are critical in any business. The more you learn about sales, the more effective you will be with you communication.
Understanding the sales process, and how to build long-term customer relationships, is incredibly important to any business.
Here are a few of the added benefits to sales skills, and why it’s a good idea to walk in a sales role for a while:
You’ll learn to negotiate.
Every job involves negotiating: with customers, with vendors and suppliers, even with employees. Salespeople learn to listen, evaluate variables, identify key drivers, overcome objections, and find ways to reach agreements.
You’ll learn to close.
Asking for what you want is difficult for a lot of people. Getting others to agree with you and follow your direction can be tricky. If you want to lead people, you must be able to close. Great salespeople know how to close. Great bosses do too.
You’ll learn persistence.
Salespeople hear the word no all the time. Over time you’ll start to see no as a challenge, not a rejection. And you’ll figure out what to do next.
You’ll learn self-discipline.
When you work for a big company, you can sometimes sleepwalk your way through a day and still get paid. When you work for yourself in a small business your mindset is completely different – “If it is to be, it’s up to me.” Working in sales, especially on commission, is a great way to permanently connect the mental dots between performance and reward.
You’ll gain self-confidence.
Working in sales is the perfect cure for shyness. You’ll learn to step forward with confidence, especially under duress or in a crisis.
The more intimidating or scary a role in sales appears to be to you, the more you need to spend some time in that role. You’ll gain confidence and self assurance, and the skills you gain will serve you well for the rest of your business, and personal life.
So tradies, go learn how to sell.
It will be one of the best investments you will ever make.
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