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5 Essential Skills Every Sales Rep Should Have

Alternative to High Pressure Selling

Whether you are a beginner or a tenured salesperson, there are some essential skills that you must possess. Sadly, 55% of salespeople don’t have the right skills to be successful. If you are trying to increase your sales numbers or simply are interested in learning how to be the best sales rep you can be, here are five important skills that you should ensure you can master.

Strong Communication

A sales rep cannot afford to be shy and needs to be confident without seeming overly pushy. He should be able to clearly explain and sell the benefits of his product to any customer, and needs to know his product inside and out so he can answer any and all questions. Communication is much more than one-on-one interactions with prospective customers, however. Strong sales presentation skills are also essential, because many sales reps are responsible for hosting webinars and other similar sessions for leads or customers.

Research Skills

A good salesperson should know exactly what questions to ask a potential buyer so that he can effectively pinpoint the customer’s needs. This means that intelligent, well-researched questions should be asked to identify customer pain points so he (and the marketing team) can help the prospect understand how the product can help make their life easier.

After all, explaining to a customer how your product can solve their problems is one of the most important parts of the sales process. If you don’t ask the right questions, you may end up wasting time in the long run chasing after a lead who is never going to commit.


This is a tough skill to master, because you have to tow the line between overselling your product and representing it accurately in a compelling way. You don’t want to make it sound too good to be true, because most people will see right through this and become disinterested in you and your company.

Use data from customer case studies and if you have had success with a customer in the same industry or line of business as your current prospect, explain how you were able to help that company to prove that you are a perfect fit for your new lead as well. Also be sure to appeal to a buyer’s emotion by giving concrete evidence about how your company is here to make their day a little bit easier.


When speaking to an existing customer or a potential, it is important to ensure that you are actively listening and that your interest is obvious to the customer. No matter what they are saying or how long-winded they are, simply listening to their questions or grievances can make them feel like you are a rep who cares about them and their issues and will do your best to solve them.

If you have questions, feel free to ask—but never cut the customer off to do so. Also feel free to paraphrase or sum up what the customer has said throughout the conversation so you are both clear on exactly what is needed. Active listening may also give you a in-depth look into the customer’s personality and buying style, which can come in handy down the road.

 A Positive Attitude

You aren’t going to win them all, and learning to stay positive may be the toughest of all of the sales skills to master. However, all too often, we let our emotions get the best of us and control the rest of our day. You can’t let one bad customer interaction dictate how the rest of your workday will go. It is also important to turn losses into learning experiences. If you lose a sale and the customer seems willing, ask them why they chose someone else so that your company knows what to work on.

Being a sales rep can be a challenging, but very rewarding, job. Once you’ve mastered these skills, you’ll be an esteemed member of your sales team.

Published: February 26, 2021

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Devin Caldwell

Devin Caldwell is a small business owner who loves helping other entrepreneurs succeed in the competitive business world. He owns three businesses and works as a consultant in his limited free time. Devin is also a husband and father of two beautiful children. If you want to work with Devin, reach out to him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DevinCaldwell13.

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