The world is completely unrecognisable from 20 years ago when I started in sales.
Back then it was a list, a phone, and the seat of your pants!
With so much rapid change, a lot of the approaches that used to work are outdated and just don't have the same impact anymore.
Salespeople need a solid grasp of software and tech platforms like never before, along with a dynamic social media presence.
But there are some things which never really change, and in my opinion should be constantly honed:
- Confidence in yourself and your ability to lead
- Effective communication skills; active listening, empathising, and building rapport from a place of interest and trust
- The ability to try new things, to reflect on wins/losses and to constantly improve
- The desire to genuinely help people with integrity
- Emotional intelligence; knowing how to respond to people
- Body language; how to read people's non-verbal cues and how to exude genuine confidence in order to instil trust
These are just some of the critical elements making up top salespeople.
Tech and AI is helpful but it's important to remember they provide support and are only ever secondary to astute and agile inter-personal skills.