7 years ago
February 21, 2017

What Selling Skills Do You Need to Be Successful?

When it comes to selling, here are the selling skills that are necessary in order to be successful.

Rhys Metler


Selling isn’t for everyone. It takes a certain type of person with the right selling skills to be able to do so successfully. Without a solid set of selling skills, a sales person can be way over his head and unable to close deals. When it comes to selling, here are the selling skills that are necessary in order to be successful.

Reeling in Business

Without a consistent pipeline, a sales person won’t be able to meet his sales targets. Prospecting is one of the selling skills that can be learned, and unfortunately, many companies don’t take the time to train their staff to do so effectively. So, left to their own devices, these reps rely on old techniques like cold calling in order to drum up some new business. They can start to feel frustrated when prospects aren’t calling them back or are ignoring their emails. They can’t close deals because they can’t even start a conversation. There are many ways a sales person can start prospecting: inbound selling, speaking at conferences, blogging, joining professional associations, using social networking, etc. But if they don’t have the selling skills and expertise to do so, they won’t be very successful.

Client Research

Some sales people will just call potential clients without doing any prior research. This is useless, since they won’t know which questions to ask. If they do get a hold of the person, they’ll be spending their time asking low-value, basic questions that they could have gotten from simple research up front. Instead, they end up wasting valuable time talking to the client about things they should already know instead of having a more in-depth, personal conversation that can actually get them somewhere.


You might think that listening is easy, but it’s actually one of the most important learned selling skills a sales person can have. A sales person who is constantly talking and asking questions isn’t listening, and this can cost him the sales opportunity. When you sit back and listen, you learn valuable information that can help you close the sale. You can more effectively understand the client’s needs and problems, so you can target them properly.

Sales Pitching

Unfortunately, many sales people fail to present a great sales pitch. You might think that pitching isn’t one of the selling skills needed to succeed, but without doing it properly, you won’t get a sale. Some reps use the same pitch on every client, and that pitch is focused on their company and the products or services that they sell. A successful sales person knows that the sales pitch needs to be personalized for each individual client and needs to revolve around the needs and problems that client has—and the solutions for them.

Building Rapport

At its core, selling is a social business. So knowing how to build rapport is one of the most vital selling skills one can have. Without trust and a strong relationship with the client, the sales person won’t be able to close many sales. This means speaking the client’s language, understanding and empathizing with his problems, and being honest and trustworthy at all times.


Negotiation is one of the selling skills that you can learn over time. For the first few times, you might be unprepared, you might be too selfish, or you might take any offer and actually lose money just to close the sale. Negotiation should be a conversation, not a statement of demands. Both sides should win and the sales person should do all he can to make sure everyone is happy with the solution.

It takes specific selling skills to be successful. Learning how to prospect, research, listen, pitch, build rapport, and negotiate can get a sales person further in the industry than any personality trait. These selling skills are vital to success.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.