If a business wants to succeed, it needs one thing more than anything else: Sales
To achieve healthy sales figures, you need a great product or service that people want, and an eye catching website or app with a good app retention rate, and a marketing strategy to reach the right buyers.
To be successful in sales, you must possess drive and enthusiasm, but you also need to have excellent communication skills. This guide reveals the 5 key communication skills you need to succeed in sales, and how to acquire them.
1. Verbal Communication Skills
Modern communication can take place successfully across many channels. If you’re communicating via email or a direct messaging system, always be sure that your message comes across as both polite and professional. If you’re unsure of a spelling, look it up before hitting the ‘send’ button.
Technology is making it easier than ever before to communicate, but the most powerful form of communication for a sales professional remains verbal communication (sometimes referred to as vocal).
Communication experts have calculated that we have around 60 seconds to capture the attention when addressing an audience or individual. Every second counts when we begin to talk, so be sure that you know exactly how you’re going to open your speech.
A successful conversation that results in a sale will always be a two-way process, so it’s impossible to plan completely what you’re going to say. Nevertheless, you should be aware of the key points you wish to touch on and be able to bring the conversation back to these points if it strays.
For that reason, flexible planning can be the key to well-executed vocal communication and the key to closing sales.
2. Listening Skills
To be a great salesperson, you need to be able to speak well and effectively, whether communicating face to face, via the telephone, or in online virtual meetings. Equally important, however, is having the ability to listen.
Being a great listener means that you can pick up on the signals that your communication partner is sending, and it means you can answer the questions they’re really asking rather than the ones that you’d anticipated them asking.
Actively listening to the other person shows them respect, and it gives them confidence in you and what you’re selling. This can be especially important if you’re using video conferencing equipment where there may be other distractions around you. Always concentrate on the speaker, and not on events at home or in your remote office.
3. Non-Verbal Communication Skills
Sometimes, it’s not just what we say that counts when you’re trying to close a sale, but how you say it. Experts estimate that up to 93% of all communication is non-verbal, so it really pays to polish up your non vocal communication skills.
It’s important to remember that while the way that we communicate may have changed – thanks to teleconferencing programs and apps, and advanced cloud communications systems – the importance of non vocal communication remains.
Always remember that you are being watched and be wary of hand and head gestures that could be seen as negative. Keep your eyes focused on the camera and your posture upright.
How we talk, allied to our non vocal communication signals, tells potential customers a lot about us. One of the main signifiers it reveals is our self-confidence, and in sales, confidence can be a key factor in clinching deals.
When we have confidence in ourselves, we exude confidence in the product or service we’re trying to sell. Once again, the benefits that confidence brings applies to both face-to-face communication, and conversations managed via online tools or a small business phone system.
Self-affirmation can boost your self-confidence levels, as can knowing your product inside out. When you know and love your product in-depth, your confidence and honesty when promoting it will shine through.
5. Communication Technology Skills
Technology has transformed how we work, how we do business and how we make sales. It’s also changed the way that we communicate and brought new tools and skills which can boost our communication success.
There are advanced communication tools available for businesses of all sizes, and to suit all budgets. While they all differ in content and execution, the thing which unites these technological aids is that they make effective communication faster, easier, and more reliable.
If you’re using an online communication system for the first time, it’s important to understand how it works and how to get the most out of it. Never let the first time you use a system be the time that you use it to talk to an important client or potential sale.
How To Improve Your Communication Skills
Now you know the five vital communication skills that will help you boost your sales success rate: an ability to communicate well verbally and non-verbally, listening skills, confidence in yourself and your product, and the ability to make the most of advancing technology.
It’s a fact that some people are better communicators than others and some people are more confident in themselves than others, but sales success isn’t down to whether you’re an introvert or extrovert. The good news is that communication skills can be learnt just like any other skills, and with the right training, positive results can be quickly achieved.
Practice makes perfect when it comes to developing your sales pitch, but don’t focus purely on the words that you say. Consider the way that you deliver the speech, and the signals that your body is making while you speak.
Practice your communication skills in interactive online exercises.
Speaking in front of a mirror can help you improve your presentation and communication skills but practicing in front of another person can be even more helpful. Be prepared to receive honest feedback and use that to improve your communication performance.
Alternatively, there are specially targeted online soft skills courses that can boost your communication skills. Over time you will find yourself becoming a better and more confident speaker, and increased sales will soon follow.