Why sales skills are important

This week, I’ve been working with graduates from the University of Aberdeen, as its Industry Week. This is a chance for graduates to work with business and get an opportunity to experience, question & understand the environment they will be moving into shortly.

The main focus of the first day is to put together their personal elevator pitch. This is a chance for them to begin to understand the question “Who am I”. Over the course of the next few hours we explore many areas and topics, there are discussions, questions, reflection; however, there is a reluctance to begin with. We lack confidence when we talk about ourselves, this is something we all need to conquer, especially if we are to be looking for employment soon.

By the end of the session we have some wonderful, colourful stories, all centred on their passion, “Why do they do what they do?”

The next step in the process is begin to understand customers, again the why question. Giving them a case study, the challenge is to build a strategy to offer a premium quality product to meet their customer’s needs.

Again, we discuss, challenge, confer and ultimately develop a plan. The plan has had many faces to it, finally morphing into a strategy to deliver a sales proposal.

The idea of this session is to get everyone thinking from the customer’s standpoint, not the sales persons. If as sales people, we understand who our customer is, then we have a much better chance of addressing their needs.

The final step is deliver their elevator pitch, in a role play situation, as if they were being interviewed for a job. They have a short time to deliver their pitch to a recruiter, and to answer some questions on their suitability for the role. The recruiter being a real recruitment professional!

These skills should not just be for good sales people, we all should be using them. If we know who we are, we become more aware of ourselves and our surroundings. If we learn to understand someone else’s perspective, then we begin to open our minds to other options.

This is why I firmly believe sales skills are important.

Can’t wait for my next learning experience.

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