Need to learn how to improve sales skills on a DIY budget? Forget expensive training. Teach yourself how to “fail better,” and push forward despite setbacks.
You want to be a better salesperson, but you don’t have the funds for “proper” training. Good news: that’s fine. If you want to learn how to improve sales skills, you don’t have to spend a ton of money.
If you want to get better, you need to act with a do-it-yourself mentality. It’s all about practice, refinement, and determination.
Sales is all about persistence. It’s trial and error, over and over again until you get it right.
Find a sales mentor
There is always someone who can guide you in your professional career. Whether it be a friend, relative, or an acquaintance you met at a conference, sales mentors can have an enormous impact on your development.
Create a list of people of who you would like feedback, advice, and one-on-one discussions. Get in touch with them over email and pitch them on becoming your mentors for a specified amount of time. Email is easier because you’ll give them space to consider your request and not have to answer on the spot.
Read the best books
Books are fantastic resources to learn and develop sales skills. There are hundreds of books available today that focus on the art of selling. They cover all kinds of ground: giving pitches, understanding customers, building confidence, and making cold calls. Whatever your need, there is most likely a book that covers it in detail. The best thing about improving your skills with reading is that you can pick up a new book for free with a library card. If one resonates with you, purchase it for future reading.
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Make it a habit of studying industry experts and professionals. People such as Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar, and Napoleon Hill have influenced generations of salespeople just like yourself. Here are a few examples of staple sales books you should read over and over again:
- The Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar
- The Psychology of Selling by Brian Tracy
- Spin Selling by Neil Rackham
- Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer
- Succeed and Grow Rich through Persuasion by Napoleon Hill
Continually develop your sales process and pipeline
Beginner salespeople try to sell way too soon in the process. The effort to close the sale only succeeds after proper nurturing of your prospect. Leading up to sale is just as important as finalizing it.
The best way to learn how to improve sales skills is to refine your process. What steps do you have in place to follow-up with leads? What qualifies your leads to become potential buyers? Do you have defined milestones in your sales pipeline?
Pitch organization is the key to success in sales. You need to establish a beginning, middle, and end for engaging most of your prospects.
Know your customers better than anyone
How can you expect to sell if you don’t understand the motivations, pain points, and behaviors of your target customers? Learning how to improve sales skills is not all about face-to-face confidence; it’s also about doing your homework.
- What are your customers’ pain points?
- Do they seek out your product or service because they need it or because they want it?
- What is your audience’s age range, background, income, family size, etc.?
- How do most of your prospects find your business? Where do they come from?
Give yourself a better chance to improve your sales skills by having a deep understanding of your customers. Do you know why they want to buy from you? If not, you should.
Reward yourself for “failing better” and hitting your target attempts every day
At the of end of the day, sales is a numbers game. The more people you interact with, the higher chance you have at closing deals. It’s better to focus on volume rather than conversions on a day-to-day basis.
For instance, set yourself a goal of making ten outbound sales calls every day. That’s it. You’re not aiming for conversions—just getting in front of the most people. The more people you call, the better your outcomes will be.
However, when you’re focusing on volume, you have to accept the fact that most of your efforts will end in no deal. That’s what we call “failing better.” Your failures are signs of accomplishment. You made ten calls today and didn’t sell anything, but guess what? You still hit your volume, and better yet, you’re getting better with every practice shot.
How to improve sales skills: find ways to motivate yourself, keep learning, and don’t take failure personally
Sales is not a quick sprint—it’s a marathon. You have to develop endurance and a thick skin if you want to be successful. Improve your chances by focusing on the bigger picture. Do your homework with customer research, develop a sales process that nurtures leads effectively, and study the experts. Just like every other skill, it takes a lot of practice to excel. The only question is how motivated you are to keep going despite minor setbacks.
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Want to develop your sales skills with less work? Simplify your sales process now. Schedule a free demo of our lead management software and turn leads into customers!
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Do you have any advice for improving sales skills? Share your thoughts in the comments!