Must Have Sales Skills Part II – Complete Your Arsenal!

Selling to A Sales Professional
A week ago we discussed several skills that you’ve got to have, or acquire in order to be the best in your organization, or in sales in general (Black Sales Journal – Must Have Sales Skills – Don’t Be Without Them Part I).

You can make it without some of them, but to be the consummate sales professional, you need appropriate amounts of each of them.  These skills don’t come easy, but they are ultra-important.

Must Have Sales Skills Part I

We already covered the following skills in Part I as was mentioned above (Black Sales Journal 7/9, Must Have Sales Skills – Don’t Be Without Them Part I):

  • Interviewing Skills
  • Responsiveness
  • Communications
  • Networking Skills
  • Relationship Development/Building Skills (Deep Enduring Relationships)

You need these, but you also need a few more.  We will concentrate on the ‘vital’ ones.

Must Have Skills Part II

The first group of skills was important, and this group is just as important.  Put the two together, and you have a skill set which is admirable.  Put these skills together with the attributes that were discussed in the post, Black Sales Journal 7/5 Customer Facing Attributes You Can’t be Without, and you are building a professional sales persona that has longevity and serious income potential.

  • Durable Sales Skills
  • Strong Organizational Skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Negotiation Skills

Durable Sales Skills – Too many take these for granted as they think they are easily attainable.  Fact is that every sales professional should have some real sales training.  Whether their company sponsors it, or the sales professional looks for it on their own. Many black sales professionals that I have spoken to avoid the sales training if it not supplied to them automatically as they question their longevity in this profession.  Recognize that they are not natural, and these sales skills are learned…yes learned.  Skills such as probing, supporting, providing proof sources, and closing to mention a few, are attainable or can be strengthened.

Strong Organizational Skills - I know sales professionals who are ultra organized, and know some with literally no organizational skills.  A quick word to the wise, the more organized you are, the less work you will have to redo.  With this in mind, the easier your life will be.  I fell in the middle of that spectrum, and had to eventually learn to be better organized.  I watched sales professionals who had a ‘handle’ on everything to such a degree including strong expense management, enviable prospect management and prospect follow-up.  They had it all together.  You need this skill if you don’t already have it.

Clean and Confident Presentation Skills – This is very doable with practice.  Giving a presentation to a customer or a group of recipients is an art that deserves practice, and everyone can tell when you are on top of your game.  An ability to read your audience and know when your point gets across or is a hopeless endeavor is important.  Skip the ‘uhs and the ‘you knows’ and deliver a flawless presentation that others will recognize as professional.  Presentation skills are important as you can see in the sales of any product.  When you are confident, you win (BSJ 5/31/2012 The Confidence Game, Why You Have to Win It!)

Advanced Negotiation Skills – When you attempt to bring in the ‘big fish’ there is seldom an easy catch.  Every customer recognizes that when large dollars are involved there is no better use of a buyer’s time than negotiating a price or a fee downward, or attempting to get more services for the dollar.  In each one of these cases the person who touches the customer, the sales professional, is the one that normally has the responsibility to respond to the request.  Knowing how to ‘bracket’ an offer, and how to recognize the gambits that buyers and representatives have to come out with the best outcomes is important.  Additionally, knowing when to respond and when not to are important as is indicated by the post, BSJ 1/12/2012 When Negotiating, Silence is Your Secret Weapon.

There Are Other Skills!

Of course there are other skills, but those shown in Part I and Part II are at the top of the heap.  Black sales professionals who have these skill sets will be outfitted to be premier performers.  Couple these with the attributes mentioned above (Black Sales Journal 7/5 Customer Facing Attributes You Can’t be Without) and you have the requirements for success.  Add to this the desire, mental toughness, and persistence and you will have a professional in the making.

Work at it, and always be the best!

Your comments are welcomed. You can reach me at

Customer Facing Skills that Win!

There is no easy way to be the best.  Part of it is achieving skills and attributes, and part of it is just plain hard work    The skills in this post will make a noticeable difference quickly.  Paying attention to these, and you wil see the benefits early and often.  Always be the best!


I hope I never sound like a broken record, but there are some ‘rules’ that I believe in.  One of them is being prepared; another is mastering the relationship.  Those two are important, but there are more.  Realize that you can change the game with these skills and activities.

It is imperative that you have command of some very important skills to help you be successful.  We are going to make the assumption that you have a command of the requisite sales skills.  Warning…those skills are not enough.  You need skills regarding relationship building, responsiveness, and being effective.

It is work being prepared, just as it is work doing those activities that make you effective.  There is no way out around that.  I assure you…these things will reward you for the rest of your career.

Skills and Activities that Change the Game!

Be an Expert or a SpecialistThe Expert

Visit these BSJ articles - Your Customer Needs an Expert and More On Being an Expert

Yes, your customer does need an expert.  They may not have told you, or they might have used some key phrases such as, “I need someone who understands my business.”  Customers do not want pretenders so study your trade and your area of specialization.  When you specialize, you will want to get some certification, accreditation, or degree.  In the absence of those being available, you will want some recognition notoriety.  One way or another, you want to be recognized.  Don’t take this one for granted as it definitely changes the game.

Network Effectively

Visit these BSJ articles– Networking for the Black Sales Professional and Know Your Elevator PitchNetworking

Whether you’re a sales professional that works for a larger concern, or an entrepreneur who runs a one-person shop, you need to hone your networking skills to a degree that you are effective and efficient.  You know the importance, as the professional who is solid at networking effectively is never without someone to present to.  Yes, it is speed dating at its finest but there is no activity like it that can yield these types of favorable results.  You will get a lot of practice at this and a lot of time for trial and error.

Create Deep Enduring Relationships

Visit these BSJ Articles – Deepening Your Customer Relationships and Deepening Your Customer Relationships Part II.  I would also suggest visitingRelationship Should You Ask your Customer for Feedback?

Unless your sales job is transactional such as a one-time sale, you will need to have an actual relationship with your customer.  You will need to get to know them, listen to them, and be responsive.  If you cannot develop a relationship that is more than casual, you are always at risk for another sales professional.  Relationships take time, develop dependence, and generate trust.  Who will risk their position, project, and profits on you and your product if you have not been able to develop a relationship?

Be ResponsiveUltimate Sales Professional

Visit these BSJ articles – Responsiveness – the Objective of the Sales Professionaland Following-Up! – Correspondence Creates an Edge.

Being responsive and exceeding expectations can separate you from other sales professionals.  Excellent follow-up is an activity that needs more attention.  It can begin to give you a special preference that accrues to someone that others can only hope to copy.   The responsive professionals are in demand because they do the things that others only do intermittently.  They communicate, keep commitments, and look toward the future.  This is a requirement to be the Ultimate Sales Professional (BSJ – Ultimate Sales Professional 1Ultimate Sales Professional 2, and Ultimate Sales Professional 3) as it definitely separates the professional. Responsiveness is easy to talk about, but more difficult to do, as it requires you to exceed customer expectations, and be what your company needs as well.  It can be done, and you will see that at a point, these two different objectives intersect at a point.

Be Memorable

Visit this BSJ article– Make Yourself Memorable

Thank You NoteIt is not good enough to be good, or even the best, if you are not remembered!  Take the time to make sure they remember you as it will show well for all reasons.  Always be the professional and never miss a chance to present your (yes, your) brand, as opposed to the company you work for.   Your brand in addition to being responsive and all of the other fine attributes, you stay close.  You drop a handwritten note showing your appreciation.  You pass along emails and newsletters that should concern the customer.  You strengthen the customer’s knowledge and he becomes dependent on you.

Master the Skills – Make the Money

There are more skills that you might need, and more that are crucial at different times, but in the sales arena, if you put these together along with the skills that make you accomplished within the organization that you work in, you can ‘change the game’.

Review the articles that I have shown, and you will see the specifics. Remember, you cannot gain mastery without working hard at these.  You will be accomplished with them!

Your comments are always welcome.