How to excel in a sales environment

Some people believe that working in a sales environment is not something that everyone could do; however it might be easier than you think it is. Although you do need to have a certain amount of patience, and obviously some personality traits may be better suited to a natural sales role, it is not impossible for anyone not to be able to do it.  If you are embarking on any sort of sales role, it is crucial to remember and learn three incredibly powerful skills – sincerity, ethics and asking. In other words, think SEA. Read on to find out how applying SEA to your sales skills could make you more successful at your job.

The sincerity applies to how you listen to your potential customer. The aim of the phone call is to make a sale, but this does not mean that you should go charging in with a pre-formed agenda. You are likely to be far more successful at your job if you listen carefully and sincerely as you try and sell them your product. The focus should be on your customer and not on you. If you place all focus on getting a sale, this will become obvious and the customer will simple switch off, or even hang up and just push you aside with the other pushy sales calls that come through. Instead, make sure to listen to them. After all, is it not better to be on the phone for slightly longer, but achieve a sale at the end of it, rather than making a lot of phone calls but rarely getting a sale? Listen to what the customer wants, especially if they are genuinely enquiring about the product. This way you can promote your product subtly, which is much more likely to achieve a sale rather than if you spent the entire time talking about yourself and how amazing the product is. Your customer simply won’t buy it (pardon the pun!). So, ignore the quotas, promotions and commissions during your phone call. Ironically doing this will stand you in greater stead of achieving these.


Many people believe that you have to be really persuasive and pushy in order to be a good sales person. This simply is not true. It helps if you enjoy what you are trying to sell, and can talk freely about it, but the trick is not to talk someone into buying your product, rather make them want to buy it. But, and here is the trick, do it ethically and listen to them. Listen to what they want and quickly determine whether this product could help them. It is incredibly unethical to fabricate the product that you are trying to sell, or even worse try and sell it as something that it really isn’t; almost so the customer is slightly fooled and tricked into buying something when they do not one hundred percent know what they are buying. Be truthful about the product, highlighting the benefits of it, and how it could help them. One of the easiest ways to do this is to really get to know your products. Don’t rely on a fact sheet, or a written script of what to say when you are selling. Instead; know what your product can do, and exactly what it is about, so not only does it appear very natural when you are talking about it, but also so you can answer any questions about the product that your customer might have without looking silly. If you are going to buy a product you would not go to the person that was just looking at a sheet and using that to tell you about the product; you would go to the person that had passion in what they were selling, and knew everything about it. By doing this, you are allowing them to make their own decision on the product.

Present the product in a clear, concise and truthful matter, and your customer is going to be able to make an educated decision based on what you have told them and what is best for them. As a sales team member your job is not to force the product onto your potential customer, but rather to ethically offer the product or service by explaining the benefits and answering any questions. By doing this, you can build a trustworthy relationship with the customer and this is much more likely to gain a successful sale.


The final skill you should adopt when you are working in a sales environment is the ability to ask questions. Find out what your customer wants and needs from your product or service, and also what they are looking to get from it. If you talk at the person, without giving them a chance to say what they would like, they will simply switch off, and you will not get anywhere -you certainly will not achieve a sale. By asking them different questions and finding out what they are looking for, you are keeping them engaged in what you are trying to sell; as well as getting tips for yourself on how you could help them by selling the product to them. Don’t forget that something you may find unimportant and irrelevant could be incredibly important to them, and vice versa. A lot of the above may seem like common sense, but it is all too easy to just continually talk to the potential customer without finding out what they actually need, which, unfortunately, does not always lead to sales, which in any sales job is important!

In the majority of sales jobs, there is scope for progression should you excel at your job, and it is making very simple changes that can really make a huge improvement in the number of sales that you achieve. Whilst we do not doubt that different personality traits will stand you in good stead, and you have to be a confident person to really enjoy working in sales, but applying SEA to you sales technique could be enough to make a huge difference. Have Zig Ziglars quote in your head when you are making your sales “You can have everything in life that you want if you just give enough other people what they want” and this is exactly what you are doing with your product or service. You are not forcing it on them; you are simply telling them the things that they need to know to make them realise that it is something that they definitely need in their life.