The four skills every salesperson needs

Not everyone is born to sell. All salespeople — even those who are part of a team — still require planning and communication skills to thrive today.

Jim Pancero notes four skills in particular that are vital to salespeople of all generations: attitude, operational personal persuasive skills, tactical skills and strategic skills.

“Those are skills that any salesperson in any situation needs,” he says. “Developing tools and processes are great but your salespeople still have to know how to use them.”

Pancero defines those four skills as:

Attitude is the energy and tenacity a salesperson brings to the role. Salespeople need to be comfortable communicating with new people to be able to quickly build relationships.

Operational personal persuasive skills are the ways a salesperson brings a customer through a sales call and sets them up for a close. This also includes how a salesperson handles customer requests and direct interaction. A positive attitude is vital, but a salesperson also must have the ability to navigate tough questions seamlessly while keeping a customer on the right track to buy.

Tactical skills refer to the long-term planning of a customer relationship — the road map to success. This aspect of sales is evident when building a team strategy. Once a business’s value proposition and selling points are created, good salespeople should be able to identify how to move forward and approach customers.

Strategic skills are the way sales people brand their product, position it in the marketplace and present it to their customers. It’s hard to sell without marketing, and talented salespeople commonly have the ability to do both well.

Pancero also adds a salesperson’s energy, tactical and strategic skills should remain consistent.

“Each customer is different but how you go to market should be the same,” he says. “Only on the operational level are customers different. Good salespeople should be able to approach customers differently [in sales calls, etc.] but follow the same strategic plan.”

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