How to Improve Your Selling Skills

Want to improve your sales skills? Great salespeople have several habits in common. Learn what they are and make them part of your routine to become a better salesperson.

Every sales manager wants to know how to get more out of their sales team and how to help their sales people achieve their potential. Whether you’re a sales manager, a sales professional or a solo entrepreneur, there are a few key habits that great sales people tend to have in common. If you can emulate the habits of the most effective sales people, your own sales results are likely to improve dramatically.

Here are some of the habits of great sales people:

1. They’re not afraid to commit.

Great sales people don’t accept failure as an option. They set a goal, and they stick with it. The best sales people don’t have “backup plans.” Instead of planning for other contingencies, they commit to succeeding at whatever they set their mind to. Do you have a single-minded pursuit of success? Or are you too susceptible to setting up “fallback plans” in case something doesn’t work out? Sometimes the best way to succeed is to forego all other possibilities.

2. They put in the time.

Great sales people aren’t afraid to work longer hours than their competition or burn the midnight oil in pursuit of a big sale. Sales is a blend of talent, timing, hard work and luck – but the one part of that formula that is within your control every time is “hard work.” As a sales person, or as a small business CEO who’s helping to sell your products, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to make the calls and connect with customers, you’re going to be rewarded (in the long run) with bigger sales. 

3. They set big goals.

The best sales people are big dreamers and big doers. They’d rather risk falling short of an audacious goal than settle for too little. The best way to get more than you expected out of your sales career is to push yourself farther than you had imagined was possible. What are some “Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals” (as coined by author Jim Collins) that you and your business can set for the next month, the next quarter or the next year? 

4. They’re never satisfied.

Great sales people never let themselves get complacent. Every success lays the foundation for the next success. Great sales people have a certain restlessness about them that drives them forward and keeps them learning and growing. The best sales people are never bored because they are constantly seeking out new achievements and new possibilities. By all means, celebrate your successes and take time to rest and renew your energy – but if you really want to be great at selling, you need to cultivate a spirit of purposeful, positive “dissatisfaction.” Always keep looking for the next goal that you want to achieve.  

5. They build long-term relationships.

The best sales people are never focused simply on transactions; they’re focused on relationships. Good sales people know about the lifetime value of a customer, and they know that it makes good business sense to keep customers happy and coming back for repeat purchases time after time.

Becoming a better sales person is a constant process of self-improvement, measuring results and adjusting your approach to building relationships with customers. But if you can follow some of these habits of highly effective sales people, you’ll be well on your way to getting better sales results.

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