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10 Sales Skills Everyone Should Master To Be Successful

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10 Sales Skills Everyone Should Master To Be Successful

What comes into your mind when hearing words ‘sales skills’? Some people connect these words with manipulation, chasing people on the streets and being able to talk like a machine gun. These images are just the opposite of what good sales skills are all about.

The fact is that mastering sales skills is an essential part of being successful in any area of your life: as an artist or as a computer programmer, at your office when you present a new idea to your colleagues, as a business owner or even when planning a new holiday destination with your family. If you look at sales skills from the right angle, your success is on the way!

To start with: we all have practiced some good sales skills (and not even thinking about them!) at one time in our life. Remember when you were a kid. How many ways have you invented to persuade your parents to buy you ice-cream? Or in your teens, you met a girl or a boy of your dreams. What have you done? You tried to convince her or him that your love is a true one and that you are the best choice for her or him. And (hopefully) you meant it from all your heart.

So, we are all born with some good sales skills! To help you out to be even more successful in any area of your life, here are 10 sales skills which can improve your daily life.

1. Be a good listener

Contrary to popular opinion people with good sales skills listen very carefully. They know that we have two ears and only one mouth, so that there is a good reason to listen more than talk.

When listening, be an active listener, be interested in what people have to say. When you propose an idea at your job or in your family, listen carefully what objectives people around you have. Only then, you will be able to find the right answers for them and be successful in promoting your idea.

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2. Find a way to connect

Successful salespeople are masters in connecting with other people.

The next time you talk to a person observe the way he or she talks. If the person speaks slowly, you should slow down your speech, too. Why? Because similarities connect people.

Find out what the person likes, what hobbies they have. Does the person have a dog? If you have a dog, too then there is plenty to talk about and the connection just gets stronger.

3. Think of giving value first

If you want to empower your life with good sales skills don’t think of selling. Think of giving value first and the money or success will be a by-product. We all like people who bring value to our lives and dislike people who just want to sell.

Be resourceful, make suggestions for improving the workflow at your office or your business, try to find ways to improve other people’s lives and you will become successful.

4. Be passionate

Sales people or business owners who are passionate about their products or what they do don’t even think that much about their sales skills. They simply do it because they think it is right. When shareholders tried to press on Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO for greater profits, he simply replied:

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”I don’t even care about ROI (Return On Investment). We, here at Apple do it in the way we do simply because we think it is right and good!”

Find your passion, find what you like to do, (think of what you would do even if you are not paid for it) and your passion will drive you through every obstacle on the way to your success.

5. Picture your end result

Successful salespeople always see their customers being fully satisfied with the service they offer. They see how grateful people are after buying their products. They see the end results even before they start selling. They always have these images in their minds.

Make a habit to picture the end result for everything you want in your life. Even when you don’t have the slightest idea how you are going to make it, visualize your end result. Picture yourself driving your new car, sipping a nice, tasty coffee on a balcony of your new apartment or signing a new contract in your office as a successful business owner. Having the image of your desired thing always in your mind will help you to find ways you can’t see right now.

6. Don’t take it personally

One of the hardest sales skills to learn is how to deal with rejections. Jean Paul DeJoria, the co-founder of Jean Mitchel Systems and founder of Patron Tequila said:

“When 100 doors are slammed in your face, go to the door number 101 and be just as enthusiastic as you were at the beginning.”

How to do that? Just don’t take a rejection personally and go on. If some people say “no” to your idea or proposal, they are maybe just not prepared for it, right now. But don’t allow this to doubt in yourself. Believe in yourself and find people who will support your ideas.

You have to remember that successful people do things unsuccessful people try to avoid in any possible way.

7. Find out what people really need

Even if you have exceptional sales skills, you would have hard times selling a bottle of water someone in the nice Alpine village. But offer this same bottle of water to a thirsty group of tourists lost in the middle of a Sahara desert, you really shouldn’t have any struggle.

Take time and find out what people need in your town or anywhere in the world (thanks to the Internet you can offer your solutions just anywhere). For example, if you are a yoga teacher, there are many people who have backache problems because they sit for long hours so try to think of how to offer your service in their offices, when they have a break. There are many people who want to learn marketing skills and you might already have these skills. So look around for the needs first and then figure out ways for solutions.

8. Keep eye contact

Keeping eye contact is one of those tiny, small but very important sales skills which show a prospect you really care about him or her. Successful people know that avoiding eye contact is a sign of insecurity or unappreciation.

The next time you speak with your boss or your customer look calmly in their eyes (just don’t stare at them like you are in trance) because with natural eye contact, even when you don’t talk you are silently telling: “I listen to you and I care for you.”

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9. Do the best follow up

One of the most efficient sales skills for bringing referrals in is a great follow-up. How good would you feel if you enroll in a fitness program and the next day a fitness instructor calls you asking how you feel after your first workout day? People who do great follow-ups know they can win customers for life.

So, if you want to be successful make sure you take great care for people around you. If you helped someone at your office with a problem a week ago, ask him how he is doing now, what his progress is. If you own a business, pick up the phone today and ask your customers how they are doing with your product.

10. People buy you first

Even if you master all the selling skills in this planet if you don’t have a good, caring personality, nothing will really work. You have to remember that people buy you first and only then your products, which means that they have to trust and like you first.

Work regularly on yourself, read motivational books every day, watch videos on YouTube which motivate you. In this way, you will become a strong personality which is the great foundation for your success.

Mastering sales skills is basically the art of mastering relationships with people around you. To be successful in your life, work every day on slight improvements on every of these sales skills, and the compound effect of slight improvements will be shown in the better quality of your life very soon.

Featured photo credit: retro girl wearing sunglasses with lemonade stand via shutterstock.com

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Bo Nardin

Bo Nardin is an online entrepreneur taking the idea 'Turn your passion into a profession' online.

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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

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