5 Fundamental Selling Skills Every Sales Person Must Have

What does it take to be a top performer in sales? Are some people born sales professionals? Why are some salespeople much better than others? Soft skills make a huge difference in sales, and everybody can learn them.

You can have a gift for landing sales – for example, you might be the type who loves to talk in front of people, is very self-confident, and can convince and captivate an audience easily. But you can also learn and develop a basic set of 5 soft selling skills that will help you become a top performer.

Research Skills

Research skills include the ability to gather, review, analyze, and interpret information. Every salesperson must have full knowledge of the market, industry, and especially the customer and their current business situation. Following your customers on social media like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn will give you a good idea of what is important to them. Look at their social media posts and interactions and listen to the way they talk about their business. That will help you speak their language, which is crucial in making a connection. Look for something you have in common to get the conversation started.


In sales conversations, it is crucial to deliver the message concisely and clearly. In order to do so, it is essential to work on our communication skills. Some basic rules to keep in mind are:

-Expand upon your statements by giving examples and telling stories.

-Make the right questions.

-Don't interrupt the client when they are talking and signalize that you listen by nodding your head from time to time.

To find out more about how to hone your communication skills, read Storytelling in Sales: How Everyone Can Unlock Hidden Potential.

Active Listening

Essential Sales Skills: Active Listening

Communication skills will be worthless if you don't listen to your customer. One of the first mistakes that occur in sales conversations is starting with a long company presentation. You should present yourself and your company very briefly because the customer doesn't care about you, they care about themselves. Instead of being self-centered, give them the stage and let them talk about their company and their challenges. Actively listening to your customer is your only chance to understand what they are looking for.

Another widespread mistake is focusing too much on your solution before fully understanding the customers' needs. Wait until you have uncovered the real business needs and pain points, and then see if you can adapt your solution to your customer's unique circumstances rather than the other way around.

Emotional Intelligence

Customers like doing business with people they trust, so building a relationship with your customers is key. Emotional intelligence includes many different skills that are necessary for connecting with people on a personal level. Some of the most important emotional intelligence skills are empathy, self-awareness, and emotion management. If you want to learn more about these and other emotional intelligence skills, check out our blog post about the importance of emotional intelligence in sales and sales leadership.


Collaboration is the act of working with someone to produce something. In the case of sales companies, collaboration is critical to achieving positive results. Sales team members must support each other, but different departments must also work together to create the perfect customer journey. Working with others as a real team will allow sales reps to focus on the right details.

Sales Enablement Can Sharpen Your Selling Skills

Learning is a never-ending journey. Learning new skills and polishing what they already know again and again is what sets leaders apart. Having a sales enablement strategy in place will help you and your team sharpen your selling skills and give your organization the chance to become a leader. Find out more by downloading our free sales enablement whitepaper or check out our Success in Sales Online Program.

Succes in Sales online training


Astrid Menzl

Astrid Menzl

A Rennweg 1, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria E office@pdagroup.net T +43 (0)512 56 09 70

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Sales Enablement Insights from PDAgroup (EN)

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