Written by Gabe Ross
Sales is not a single skill. At the most basic level, it is a human-to-human activity. Sales is understanding someone’s perspective – someone’s wants, needs and desires – and communicating what you have that fulfills those wants, needs, and desires.
I was told very early-on that in order to be a better salesperson you need to become a better person. You need to be able to understand what keeps people up at night and what gets people up in the morning. And in order to do that, here are the 3 skills that salespeople need that aren’t necessarily “sales skills.”
Non-Sales Key Skill 1: Copywriting
Provide value, hit on a pain-point, indicate your solution and provide a compelling call to action in 2 sentences. Oh, and also come up with the most clickable subject line that will make your audience happy, sad and fall in love all at once.
The mediums where selling happens are changing constantly and top salespeople are future-proofing themselves with copywriting. Social selling is dominating in the B2C and B2B worlds.
If you can get people at least interested in whatever you’re selling by having them read a single sentence, well, you’re gonna go far, kid.
Non-Sales Key Skill 2: Asking for and giving feedback
In order to become a high-level sales organization, there needs to be an addiction to feedback.
Have a call so good you feel like an entire methodology should be created in your honor? Screw up a call so badly you consider dropping everything and retreating to a commune in Southeast Asia? We’ve all been there: share those calls, get feedback and get better!
There is something learned from every point in the sales process and providing other people feedback will only make you better.
You are probably saying, “asking for feedback sounds more like a best practice rather than a skill.” No, asking for and giving feedback is a skillset that is developed with time.
A little bit of coaching builds confidence in what you are already doing well, identifies room for improvement, and inspires you to go about solving the world’s problems. The only way to get good at anything is to do it A LOT!
Upskilling Your Workforce
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Non-Sales Key Skill 3: Reading
Read everything. Read articles, books, blogs, poetry, manifestos, speeches… everything.
Read in an abstract way. Take some time during your weekend to sit on a park bench and read the people going by. Look at how they react to events in their environment and look at how they make decisions. What is in the store window makes people go inside?
Read Shakespeare, Hemingway, Ginsberg, Gates, and Buffett. Don’t just read the words that they are writing but study how the great pieces of literature communicate their ideas. The best salespeople are storytellers and the best storytellers are masters of drawing emotion from their audience.
Guess what? Reading is also a skill, the more you do it the better you get. The better you get at understanding subtleties, noticing minor themes and, understanding other people’s point of view. With time and practice, you also become a more efficient reader.
Read more: 4 Sales Skills Shared by Top Performers
The top performers on any given sales team take a holistic approach to personal development. In the modern world, it is necessary to be a jack of all trades at a certain level. Want to have a long and fruitful career? Do you want job security regardless of how AI and automation take over the world? Learn how to provide value at every turn and I promise you will be successful.