Three Unspoken Skills of the Modern Sales Professional

Michele Warg
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In the rapidly changing marketplace, salespeople who stick to tried-and-true sales methods and techniques are likely to find themselves wondering where all their buyers went. While the basic people skills involved in sales remain a constant, how modern sales skills manifest themselves is in a state of flux. The wise salesperson is one who focuses on these vital skills, which are often kept unspoken and unacknowledged.

1. Connecting With Your Customer

The days of waiting for customers to magically appear are over. Technology has made enormous amounts of information available to everyone, and making that information work for you is one of the modern sales skills to master. Use demographic information, lead generators and other analytical information to get to potential customers before your competitors do. In addition, take advantage of the wealth of information available to learn everything you can about your customer before you approach him and to get fully up to speed with his business and his world. 

2. Flexing With New Technology

Realize that the flow of information works both ways. Whenever you speak to a new customer contact by phone, text or email, that customer is likely to know an astonishing amount about you, your company and your company's products before you've gotten past the introductions. The ability of a customer to pull up your company's website and social media pages means you have to put your modern sales skills to work to think the way your customer does and to answer the unspoken questions that aren't already dealt with online. In addition, modern sales skills call for salespeople to update themselves daily on what's being said about their company and products online. Don't let yourself be surprised by negative product reviews or comments, and coordinate your public responses on social media sites to control perception of your brand. Damage control is no longer relegated to another department but is a vital and unspoken part of every salesperson's job.

3. Moving Beyond the Products

Technology means that your customer already knows everything he needs to know about your products and services — or at least he thinks he does. Don't waste time reiterating information he can get online. Instead, use more modern sales skills to help your customer envision his company's future and see where new markets and opportunities for growth might lie. Realize that your customer already knows the product, what you charge for it and what your competitors charge. Instead, focus on the service you can provide either during or after the purchase to make your company stand out.

In today's changing marketplace, salespeople have to pick up some modern sales skills to stay afloat. Hang on to the traditional sales skills that have stood you in good stead over the years and add a sensitivity to the effects of technological changes to continue sales success in the future.

(Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at



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