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10 Sales Skills Everyone Should Master To Be Successful

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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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity?

The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity?

If you spend any time at all researching life hacks, you’ve probably heard of the famous Pomodoro Technique.

Created in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro Technique is one of the more popular time management life hacks used today. But this method isn’t for everyone, and for every person who is a passionate adherent of the system, there is another person who is critical of the results.

Is the Pomodoro Technique right for you? It’s a matter of personal preference. But if you are curious about the benefits of using the technique, this article will break down the basic information you will need to decide if this technique is worth trying out.

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management philosophy that aims to provide the user with maximum focus and creative freshness, thereby allowing them to complete projects faster with less mental fatigue.

The process is simple:

For every project throughout the day, you budget your time into short increments and take breaks periodically.

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You work for 25 minutes, then take break for five minutes.

Each 25-minute work period is called a “pomodoro”, named after the Italian word for tomato. Francesco Cirillo used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato as his personal timer, and thus the method’s name.

After four “pomodoros” have passed, (100 minutes of work time with 15 minutes of break time) you then take a 15-20 minute break.

Every time you finish a pomodoro, you mark your progress with an “X”, and note the number of times you had the impulse to procrastinate or switch gears to work on another task for each 25-minute chunk of time.

How the Pomodoro Technique boosts your productivity

Frequent breaks keep your mind fresh and focused. According to the official Pomodoro website, the system is easy to use and you will see results very quickly:

“You will probably begin to notice a difference in your work or study process within a day or two. True mastery of the technique takes from seven to twenty days of constant use.”

If you have a large and varied to-do list, using the Pomodoro Technique can help you crank through projects faster by forcing you to adhere to strict timing.

Watching the timer wind down can spur you to wrap up your current task more quickly, and spreading a task over two or three pomodoros can keep you from getting frustrated.

The constant timing of your activities makes you more accountable for your tasks and minimizes the time you spend procrastinating.

You’ll grow to “respect the tomato”, and that can help you to better handle your workload.

Successful people who love it

Steven Sande of The Unofficial Apple Weblog is a fan of the system, and has compiled a great list of Apple-compatible Pomodoro tools.

Before he started using the technique, he said,

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“Sometimes I couldn’t figure out how to organize a single day in my calendar, simply because I would jump around to all sorts of projects and never get even one of them accomplished.”

Another proponent of the Pomodoro Technique is Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal. Shellenbarger tried out this system along with several other similar methods for time management, and said,

“It eased my anxiety over the passing of time and also made me more efficient; refreshed by breaks, for example, I halved the total time required to fact-check a column.”

Any cons for the Pomodoro Technique?

Despite the number of Pomodoro-heads out there, the system isn’t without its critics. Colin T. Miller, a Yahoo! employee and blogger, tried using the Pomodoro Technique and had some issues:[1]

“Pomodoros are an all or nothing affair. Either you work for 25 minutes straight to mark your X or you don’t complete a pomodoro. Since marking that X is the measurable sign of progress, you start to shy away from engaging in an activity if it won’t result in an X. For instance…meetings get in the way of pomodoros. Say I have a meeting set for 4:30pm. It is currently 4:10pm, meaning I only have 20 minutes between now and the meeting…In these instances I tend to not start a pomodoro because I won’t have enough time to complete it anyway.”

Another critic is Mario Fusco, who argues that the Pomodoro Technique is…well…sort of ridiculous:[2]

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“Aren’t we really able to keep ourselves concentrated without a timer ticketing on our desk?… Have you ever seen a civil engineer using a timer to keep his concentration while working on his projects?… I think that, like any other serious professional, I can stay concentrated on what I am doing for hours… Bring back your timer to your kitchen and start working in a more professional and effective way.”

Conclusion

One of the best things about the Pomodoro Technique is that it’s free. Yeah, you can fork over some bills to get a tomato-shaped timer if you want… or you can use any timer program on your computer or phone. So even if you try it and hate it, you haven’t lost any cash.

The process isn’t ideal for every person, or in any line of work. But if you need a systematic way to tackle your daily to-do list, the Pomodoro Technique may fit your needs.

If you want to learn more about the Pomodoro Technique, check out this article: How to Make the Pomodoro Technique More Productive

Reference

[1] Aspirations of a Software Developer: A Month of the Pomodoro Technique
[2] InfoQ: A Critique of the Pomodoro Technique

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