What sales skills should I focus on in training?

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Sales training is multi-billion dollar business and a lot of products available to companies focus on skills training. The theory is if we train you in skills your sales should increase. But what skills, exactly?

Over several years I looked at over 143 books on selling and over 1000 articles and attended over 23 sales training intensives.  Depending on who you talk to you need four skills, seven skills, 13 skills and even as many as 84 skills!

(Bear in mind I am talking about high value, multi-step sales.)

I performed a meta-analysis of the systems I studied and sales skills can be condensed down to ten core skills.

They actually segment into three clear phases of any sales: before during and after.


Readiness – you must feel ready to sell

Knowledge – You must know what you are selling and HOW to sell

Prospecting – whatever method of finding target clients you need prospecting skills


Rapport – basically you must establish some connection and engagement

Qualifying/Investigating – you find out if your client’s needs and if your core offering is actually a good fit for that client

Presenting – you present a range of options and the preferred option.

Closing -p you ask for the business

Preventing or Handling objections – you need too know what those objections are and how to address them (By the way there are only five core objections in any sales).


Customer care or service – looking after any needs that arise from the sale

Admin – handling the paperwork, logistics (and reversals).

Most sales training programmes will include aspects of the above. You will be aware that a LOT off sales training focuses on Closing and Handling Objections. A lot!

But more on that in my next blog.

(c) 2017 Andrew Priestley |  www.thesalesprofile.com |Please note this is for information only and does not constitute specific advice.

(c) Illustration Andrew Priestley


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