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What is the most important sales skill? By Mark Blezard

This one always gets the sales groups that I belong to somewhat hot under the collar!


Many reference Negotiation or Closing. And Listening is a good one too. Perseverance, someone once said (is that a skill??). Anyway, let’s cut to the chase rather than waste your time with a list.


Spotting Opportunities. Please feel free to chip in and disagree, but here’s why I think it ranks at number one (and it is a trainable skill, we cover it in our Sales Skills Audit). A well-known sales trainer in Germany once said to me that he would take activity over skills any day. The point he was making was that a highly trained sales executive who sits on their butt all day will be less effective than a poorly trained phone warrior.


This got me thinking. Spotting Opportunities is the gateway to prospecting, solving client problems, making sales where others missed them ­– your opportunity to put all your training to use. It's what makes sales easier and fun because the 'sales' start coming to you.


So surely, it is the most important skill in sales? Otherwise, you are the ‘highly trained butt sitter’ waiting for the phone to ring?




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