Module 1, Lesson 1
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1.1: Selling Skills

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Becoming a great salesperson takes effort and practice. While a salesperson might enter the industry because they have great people skills and a natural ability to influence others, they can certainly benefit from developing skills in terms of providing the best buying experience for their customers and potential customers.

In this lesson, you will explore the differences between the traditional hard selling approach and consultative (or customer-focused) sales. You will also learn about the sales cycle so that you can focus your activities and skill development in the areas that will give you the highest results.

Essential Skills

At one time it was not unusual for sales people to focus on pushing a product or service in a way we call the “hard sell.” Hard selling comes from deliberately targeted activities that focus on selling numbers and collecting money.

Things have really changed! Customers expect to be consulted and want relationships with their sales people. Top sales people have developed skills that are based on building relationships and developing trust with their clients. They realize that these relationships are what fill their sales pipeline, and that the stronger relationships they develop, the less time they have to spend on less desirable activities, such as cold calling.

Consultative Selling

Consultative selling, also called customer focused selling, is the model that we recommend to get the best results from your sales efforts. This cycle includes techniques that are used by top salespeople who have the fullest pipelines and get the best results.

If you consider the model below as a starting point, you will see that the more effort we make, the better the results we get. What we need to ensure, then, is that our efforts are also efficient so that we get even better results.

Customer Focused Selling
Customer focused selling is about selling from the other person’s perspective. While this sounds simple, it is a complex process that requires attention and practice. The skills associated with customer focused selling apply to each sales appointment, phone call, meeting presentation, and interaction through the process. This makes selling a little bit like learning to play chess: the rules are not that difficult, but you need to repeatedly play the game to become skilled.
In the early stages of your relationship with a client, your goal is to use customer focused selling to build trust and credibility. We buy from people that we like, so the opportunity is here for you to put your impression-making skills to use. This is important whether you are speaking with someone by phone or face to face.
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