Sales can be a difficult job, especially at the beginning when you are still learning. With any sales position, you should get accustomed to facing a lot of rejection, and you will need to learn to be pretty resilient in the face of that rejection as you continue to develop your sales skills.

If you are looking for ways you can develop your skills, try these 5 tips for improving your sales skills.


1. Set goals

Identify the areas in which you would like to improve, and then set specific goals for yourself that would signify to you that you are improving in those areas. Try focusing on one aspect of sales at a time so that you don’t become overwhelmed. For instance, you might really focus on your sales pitch for a few weeks. You can try different methods and seek feedback until you feel like you have established a solid pitch. Next, you might want to try focusing on becoming better at listening to, and really understanding, your customer and their needs/desire. Having something specific to focus on will make it easier to learn and assess your progress.


2. Do your research

Always do your research before meeting with a client. Know who they are, what they do, and the services or products they are likely to be interested in, and why. This will not only impress them, but will also allow for more effective communication as you will be able to demonstrate insight that is specifically for them.


3. Practice

A good way to develop your sales skills and calm your nerves before an important meeting/call, is to practice what you are going to say beforehand. Rehearse your pitch so you know what you want to say, or even try role-playing to improve your ability to think on the spot. You should also try to practice in front of a mirror so you can see what you facial expressions will look like as you speak.


4. Seek feedback

If you are serious about developing your sales skills, seeking feedback on your performance is a great way to improve your skills. Remember to be specific when asking questions so you receive specific feedback in return. As mentioned above, identify one particular aspect of your sales performance that you would like to improve and then focus on this aspect when requesting feedback. If you are working with a colleague, talk to them before you attend a meeting and ask them to observe the behaviour you have identified as you chosen goal. They can then provide you with feedback afterwards. You can also follow up with clients for feedback. If you are successful, ask your client why then went with you, and vice versa, if you were unsuccessful in closing.


5. Reflect

Always reflect on your performance. Consider what went well, what didn’t, and think about the things you could do differently in the future. However, do not do this late at night, or before you go to bed. The next morning, after you’ve been up for about an hour or so, take a few minutes to close your eyes and replay the meeting/call in your minds eye. It’s important that you do this when you are fresh, and not tired.

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