Basic Sales Skills That Every Sales Person Must Have to Be Successful

What does it take to become a successful salesperson in the modern age? Contrary to popular belief, great salespeople are not those that are naturally gifted in the art – although some people certainly do have a natural talent for selling. To become successful in sales there are a number of basic sales skills which, when combined with dedication and desire, will set you miles apart from the less hungry salespeople vying for your business.

So what are the basic sales skills needed to be successful? The following attributes can be used to evaluate yourself, your sales team, and even potential hires when trying to identify a top quality salesperson.

Effective Communication

People do not buy when they are confused. Sales is about talking to clients and communicating effectively to them in a manner they understand. In leymans terms, you wouldn’t use complicated terminology and technical jargon when pitching an intricate IT solution to a client. Instead, you’d let them know exactly what benefits this new system will give them and how much money it will make/save them. Simple speaking is the best form of communication when it comes to sales.

Listening Abilities

A truly great salesperson will know when to stop talking and listen. They won’t cut a client off mid-way through a sentence, just in case a vital part of identifying their needs is missed, and the very best of the best will sometimes hear the real underlying problem that the client possibly isn’t even aware of. To offer the right solution to the clients needs, you need to fully understand what those needs are.

Asking the Right Questions

More often than not, the customer doesn’t know what they really want. Successful sales people know which type of questions to ask at the right time to drill down into the customers wants and needs. Inquisitive by nature, salespeople ask questions because of a desire to solve the real problem at hand.

Solving Problems

Using basic sales skills, salespeople will not only find the real problem at hand, they are naturally gifted at solving the problem as well. If you are able to hone in on the problem at hand and offer effective solutions to solving the problem with your products and services, then you will generally be able to close the sale without much trouble.

Being Organized

Breaking tasks down into actionable steps and planning projects out is another fundamental skill required. Not only that, a talented salesperson will know which order to implement or action the steps to get the desired result for both themselves and the client.

Taking the Initiative

The most successful salespeople I know are persistent, hungry, and don’t need to be told what tasks to do and when. They work hard towards targets and use their own ingenuity to achieve them every sales quarter.

Positive Attitude

A can do attitude is a basic attribute required of all good salespeople. Natural sellers are confident and can achieve anything they set their mind to. They are comfortable meeting new people, overcoming objections and putting themselves out their and do not let bad days or negativity affect their work because they know who they are and what they want to achieve.

Courteous and Well Mannered

Courtesy and manners show respect to the client and this goes a long way to gaining respect from them. Talented salespeople know this and they use it to build lasting relationships with people, often leading to many sales and a long and prosperous working relationship.

The Art of Persuasion

From their body language and mannerisms to the words they use and how they speak, true salespeople know how to persuade and influence others. Persistance is key when using persuasion techniques and as long as you firmly believe in the product you are selling, this is a powerful sales skill to use to get what you want.


Sales has been given a bad name by scam artists looking to make a quick buck out of people. The very best sales people are honest and have integrity. If the product you are selling isn’t a fit for the customer, be honest and tell them that if their situation ever changes, they are welcome to give you a call. Of all the basic sales skills, this is the only one that cannot really be taught. Always do your due diligence to ensure that the people you hire are honest salespeople and you would be advised to be as analytical as possible when doing this.

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