The Skills You Need To Become A Better Sales Associate

April 11, 2016

Whether you work in a retail establishment or sell products by phone, you need to develop specific skills to be successful in your position. Some of these skills are more basic, such as the ability to use a computer, speak distinctively, or understand the details of your products or services. Other skills are more crucial to the sale. Determine which of the below elements you need to work on, and start incorporating them into your sales presentations.


All customers are prospects when you meet them. But it’s up to you to determine the difference between legitimate buyers and tire-kickers. Prospecting involves researching potential buyers, identifying key decision makers, and asking questions. The main facet of prospecting is qualifying. That’s ascertaining who really needs the product now, and whether they can afford it. Don’t waste your own time, and find people who will further your sales with their own needs.


Listening is a communication skill just like speaking and writing, but is more crucial to your success as a sales associate. Listen to what the customer is really saying when they ask or answer questions. Even if you’re on a conference phone, find ways to slow down and really listen to the other party during a call. Learn to recognize their “hot buttons”, which are things that motivate them to buy. For example, some customers want convenience while others are focused more on brand prestige. Focus on these hot buttons and show how your products fulfill the customer’s needs.

Overcoming Objections

One of the most common objections is price. Others may need to speak to a significant other to make a decision or prefer a competitive brand. If your customers’ objections aren’t apparent during conversations, ask what concerns they have. If they think your price is too high, show them how they would save money in the long run. Allow them to try the product for a specific period of time, which eliminates the risk of the purchase. Always stress benefits over features when overcoming objections.


Negotiating with a prospective buyer is only necessary if you’re having trouble getting them to commit. According to “ you should never negotiate until you know three needs or three benefits your prospect is looking for in a product. If its price you’re negotiating, let the customer put their offer on the table first. That gives you a starting place from which to build.


Closing is asking for the sale. But you don’t always have to be direct when closing. If you’ve overcome all of your prospect’s objectives, say, “If I can just get your authorization, we can have this to you by Tuesday.” Another successful close is, “Will you be paying by check or credit card?” Think about how you want to end your relationship and sale and do it right.

Sales is a difficult, but vital part of any industry. If you can master these skills now, the rest is easy.

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