Not just a salesperson but also every person on the planet has a set of skills – soft and hard. They make it possible to live a daily life, do a job, raise children, communicate with friends and other people, and do thousands of other tasks, which make life itself. To define, what is required for a person to do the work, particularly, for salespeople to make sales, we first define, what are soft and hard skills.
Soft and Hard skills explained
Soft skills are the ones, which are generally learned by a person during the course of growing up since very childhood, which help live. They are the needed prerequisites of living, competing, and thriving. They are hard to measure, very fuzzy to define in fine detail, and are very vague when it comes to comparing a soft skill of one person to the same soft skill of another person. Generally, these are such: intelligence, emotional background, collaboration, adaptability, creativity, persuasiveness, punctuality, responsibility, innovativeness, patience, flexibility, cultural awareness, thinking, and self-realization. As a result, they make it possible to work in a team, communicate, listen, create something new, being able to multitask and manage time, being detail-attentive, able to resolve conflicts, build strategies, make decisions, and show other skills, which are cherished in society and in the office.
Unlike the first (although tightly interconnected), hard skills are more exact skills of something you specifically learn during a long time in some specific area and which can be measured almost completely, this way or another. They are required to work effectively and make you a professional in some area (or simply a very good specialist). Examples of hard skills would be proficiency in some science or natural/programming language, being good at business analysis, cloud computing, software coding, affiliate marketing, sales, inventory control, driving a car or airplane (as well as any other vehicle), being a surgeon, plumber, or skyscraper architect. So, this is, basically, a set of skills and knowledge that you acquire by extensive learning and practical training when you master some profession or an area of knowledge that’s not inherent to all people on the planet. The level of mastering hard skills is verified by passing tests and acquiring various certifications and degrees.
But where to draw a line between the one and the two? In most cases, hard and soft skills are inseparable from one another, at least, not in full. Soft skills are the basis for any hard skills to be built on top of them. So these are rather human-induced tags, just to make them more understandable for a broad audience.
What makes a good salesperson? Selling skills!
A set of sales skills define how to be a good salesman. These are a combination of soft and hard skills.
- Ability to classify (segment) a client based on their looks and data to know what sales techniques to use better.
- Understanding the needs of consumers.
- Selling in a responsive manner, covering the needs and pains of a person, not simply to gain profit.
- Use buyer-engaging psychology.
- Establishing long-playing communication and relations.
- Be responsive and proactive when forming a product/service offer.
- Tell stories and give examples that play with the strings in a client’s soul.
- Become great in offering a product, telling only the truth but never telling all the truth (that would not deceive customer expectations but will be able to excel them, giving you more trumps in your sleeve for future communication and sales).
- Master well all the channels of sales (unless you specialize), knowing and applying the most effective techniques for every channel.
- Be socially active with the most promising customers, especially during account management.
- Be as personal in your sale interactions as possible but never too personal.
- Use the variety of marketing and other adjacent skills and promo presentations in your sales.
- Move clients through the steps of the lifecycle by helping and developing them.
- Use software to achieve better and more thorough results.
- Learn to follow and meet your sales goals through daily activities not looking too aggressively selling to your clients.
- Manage your portfolio with people in mind that stand behind it and manage every client as a valuable asset and a person.
- Show large empathy and high emotional intelligence when you communicate to your clients and prospects.
- Be confident in what you say and do, which is even possible to compensate for some product disadvantages.
- Be optimistically flexible, allowing people to receive something or all of what they ask.
- Learn good approaches in time management so as to be effective, not wasting your and your client’s time.