They often say selling is both an art and science. Wonder why? Selling requires both hard and soft skills. Knowledge and skills refer to the technical expertise and understanding customer needs and how your product or service fulfills those needs, which relate to the left side of the brain. As knowledge is the sum total of both academic and practical learning acquired over a period of time, it decides the competence and successful individuals in any career. Skill refers to the competencies gained through experience and honed through practice which includes technical, presentation, communication, and analytical skills. These skills help in communication and delivery of the desired performance.
While these may be important in sales, the ability to properly put them to use is decided by attitude and habits. Attitude and habits render the perspectives and outlook that help a salesperson leverage his or her knowledge and skills to increase sales and overall job performance. Attitude and habits relate to the right side of the brain and are referred to as soft skills. Although sales training and coaching focus on the technical skills of a salesperson, what causes failure in sales? Most would agree it is the attitude and habits. This also may be referred to as the state of mind which is supported by soft skills or people skills. As we all love cash, it makes for an easy acronym ‘KASH’ as the attributes required for ongoing sales and professional success. How is this acronym best related to salespeople? Narrated below are how vital knowledge, attitude, skill, and habits are for a salesperson and how it relates to the profession.
Knowledge: Knowledge refers to the ins and out of the product, competitors, customers’ choices and all other aspects. Knowledge is required to confidently sell a product. The salespeople should have sufficient knowledge about the prospect and the organization and industry and what differentiates them from their competitors.
Attitude: This refers to the right type of approach that is amenable to the customer, their culture, and environment. It also refers to the art of treating customers the way they want to be treated. Do the salespeople believe in the product and the proposed solutions that they are advocating? It is also essential to assess whether their thoughts affect their mindset in a positive way which is being reflected in their behavior.
Skill: Skills are acquired through experience and continued practice of the competencies required to succeed. Skills refer to technical as well as behavioral. Can the salesperson conduct research effectively? Does the salesperson have the ability to identify the needs and wants of the customer? Does the salesperson possess the required communication, technical, presentation, and analytical skills? These questions need to be assessed by the sales individual to be successful.
Habits: Lack of preparation, Procrastination, or an argumentative nature will certainly deter potential clients or customers. The habits of sales professionals should be such that it supports building harmonious relations with prospects and customers. Looking at the habits of the salespeople, customers should be convinced of their professionalism and have confidence in the organization and product or services.
If selling is both an art and science, it is because it requires detailed knowledge and skills in the course of proper relationship and behavior. The sales profession requires both the application of right and left brain skills to ensure consistent success. In simple terms, it is the K.A.S.H that determines the inflow of your cash in terms of sales.