A soft skill, according to the Macmillan Dictionary, is any skill that “allows someone to work successfully with others.” Dressing properly, for example, is seen as a skill.
Soft talents that are industry-specific, on the other hand, are more difficult to quantify. The most straightforward approach to comprehend them is to describe their opposite, hard skills, and utilise that as a counterpoint. A hard talent is a technical competence that is easily quantified and pertains to a certain job. Product knowledge, for example, becomes a difficult talent to learn.
Soft skills, on the other hand, are more universal talents that enable professionals to use their hard skills to their advantage. You may understand the thing you’re selling, but can you effectively explain its value? If you have the necessary soft skills, you can.
Every salesperson requires both soft and hard talents. The former is what we’ll discuss in this RisePath blog today. If you can master these skills, you’ll have a lot more success.
1. A mindset of progress
People that have a growth mentality feel that putting in the effort will help them enhance their innate abilities. People with fixed mindsets feel their abilities are inherent and unchangeable. People who have a growth attitude are more likely to succeed, especially in sales.
If you don’t already have a growth mentality, you can cultivate one. This is how:
- Change your attitude toward failure: Are you ashamed of your past mistakes? You must not be. Instead of seeing them as embarrassing, think of them as learning opportunities. This will offer you the encouragement you need to keep going and developing.
- Use the word “yet” on a regular basis: When used correctly, “yet” is a strong word. Say things like, “I haven’t mastered this skill yet” or “I haven’t met quota yet.” This will allow you to see more possibilities.
You’ll create a growth mentality that will help you succeed in sales if you accomplish these two things.
Empathy is the ability to put yourself in the shoes of another person. As a salesperson, you should be able to not only understand but also feel what another person is feeling. You can then tailor your message to your prospect’s specific scenario.
Take a moment to visualise what your prospect is going through to improve this soft talent. What are their thoughts? What are they attempting to accomplish? What problems do they hope to avoid? What do they require from you in order to improve the purchasing experience?
A simple game of “Imagine if…” can help you become a more compassionate seller. If you’re seeking alternative ideas, meditation is a good place to start.
3. Pay attention.
When was the last time you sat and listened to one of your prospects speak? It’s not enough to nod your head and murmur soothing platitudes like “that makes sense” while mentally calculating your commission check. We’re discussing paying attention to them.
If it’s been a while, this is a soft skill you should absolutely improve! Why? Because one of the most effective strategies to close more deals is to actively listen to prospects.
Consumers today do not want you to tell them what they require. They expect you to pay attention to their objectives, issues, and concerns. They then want you to direct them to a product or service that will assist them in achieving success while removing their obstacles.
Put your consumers and their needs first to improve your listening skills. When you do this, you’ll naturally want to listen in order to discover how to best assist them.
4. Effective communication
The most effective salespeople are excellent communicators.
It makes no difference whether you’re composing an email, calling a potential customer, or hosting an in-person product demo. Your daily communication partners should be able to comprehend and connect with your words. Something is wrong if they can’t.
Here are some suggestions for improving your communication skills:
- Prioritize your audience: Who are you conversing with? Communicate in a way that they will understand. You wouldn’t talk to a prospect the same way you would a coworker, for example, because prospects and colleagues have distinct needs.
- Go over your talks with prospects: Do you keep track of your conversations with prospects? This will assist you in identifying irritating speech tics and/or perplexing utterances. In subsequent calls and in-person meetings, you can try to address these issues.
You’ll never succeed in sales if you can’t communicate well. Make improving this soft skill a key priority for you this year!
Things change in sales, as anyone who has worked in the industry knows. (Like, constantly.)
Internal meetings are postponed, product demos are rescheduled, and prospects fail to call when they say they will… Because life in sales can be stressful at times, flexibility is one of the most crucial soft skills to have.
You’ll have more success if you learn to adapt to the shifting landscape around you.
This may be difficult depending on your personality. When their plans keep changing, some people become very upset and agitated. It’s very understandable.
Start each day expecting something to change to help you become more adaptable. So you’re not astonished when it happens. We also recommend having backup plans in place. Knowing what you can concentrate on when Plan A fails can help you relax.
Every day, salespeople confront rejection. It can also take the shape of an unanswered email. It can also be more overt, such as when a prospect hangs up on you in the middle of a call. In either case, you’ll need a thick skin to stay positive.
Fortunately, there are a few tried and true methods for building resilience:
- Focus on your wins: Concentrate on your successes rather than your failures. Instead, consider the recent transactions you’ve completed. This will boost your self-assurance.
- Remember, it’s not you: When a prospect says “no,” don’t take it personally. They are not dismissing you. Your products/services are being rejected. When a sales call doesn’t go as planned, making this distinction will help you feel better about yourself.
- Don’t give up: Give it time. After a few rejections, rejection becomes easier to deal with. Learn to process your emotions in a healthy manner, then set them aside and return your focus to the game. You have a deal to close!
7. Effective time management
Finally, salespeople must improve their time management abilities. In that manner, they can meet their sales targets without working 60+ hours each week. Consider how much better your life will be if you can meet or surpass your sales targets without burning out.
Invest in the correct tools to master this soft talent. Nutshell, for example, will assist you in managing your leads so that you may contact them at the appropriate moments and close sales more quickly. LinkedIn will assist you in connecting with prospects and developing long-term partnerships in less time. RisePath will also make scheduling sales appointments more efficient.
To succeed as a top-level salesperson, you must master time management. Fortunately, with the numerous sales tools at your disposal, this is simple to accomplish!
Soft skills are frequently the deciding factor between average and exceptional sellers. Fortunately, you can improve your soft skills and convert yourself into a deal-closing machine if you have a growth attitude. Your sales career will soar once you’ve done so!
Remember that developing soft skills requires time and effort. There’s no telling how successful you can be if you’re willing to put in the effort to grow. Best of luck!