Innovation and enterprise blog

The British Library Business & IP Centre can help you start, run and grow your business

13 November 2015

5 top skills to make you a good salesperson

Learning the detective-like skills of a salesperson is a requirement for any successful entrepreneur. As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, Joanna Sadie of Leapfrog conducted a workshop (that has since concluded) at the British Library's Business & IP Centre, on the necessities of knowing how to sell with confidence. She kindly felt her five top tips to get you started:

Business & IP Centre conducting a workshop with a user about their business relates queries

1. Active listening

Give full attention to what other people are saying, take time to understand the points being made and ask appropriate questions. When opening up a conversation with a prospective client ask the right questions in order to understand their needs and issues.

2. Effective communication skills

Written and oral communication skills are key criteria to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Having the gift of the gab is a phrase often associated with being a good sales person.  However a successful sales person understands the person they are communicating with and ensures their style of communication matches their client’s style so that rapport and trust is built.

3. Critical thinking

A salesperson must use critical thinking to decide which product or service would be the best option to present and sell to the client, taking into account all the information that has been discovered from questioning and listening to their needs.

4. Persuasion and negotiation

Persuasion and negotiation are key elements of the sales process.  However, negotiation should only come into play after the prospective customer has been persuaded to buy the product or service that you have to offer.  If there is no agreement then all you will be doing is discounting, not negotiating, as the client will not see the value in what you have to offer.

5. Patience and tenacity

It is a crime in sales not to follow up leads quickly and efficiently when they come in, so being tenacious with prospective client leads is vital.  On the flip side, it takes persistence to follow a lead through from initial enquiry to order stage, especially when a client is taking a long time to make a decision – this is when you need to have the patience of a saint!

Joanna Sadie of Leapfrog was at the Business & IP Centre on the 19 November as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week , for which has since concluded. For more information about the Business & IP Centre and the variety of events and workshop we're running through the entire year, with various themes to suit and tailored to different business adventures, that you may have as an inspiring entrepreneur, then, visit our website for more. 


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