9 Tips to Sharpen Your Sales Skills

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Here are nine sales tips from local business expert Marianne Collins. Professor Collins has over three decades of business development experience. She’s currently a Professor of Marketing, Department Chair, and Director of the Strauss Center for Sales Excellence at Winona State University.

Professor Collins’ “Sharpening Your Sales Skills” talk was part of the Business Expert Series held by the Winona State University College of Business and Collider Coworking.


Nine Tips to Sharpen Your Sales Skills:

  1. Remember that the buying journey has changed, especially with the Internet. Now, a buyer is 2/3rds of the way through the buying process before approaching sellers. But the marketplace is even more complex and often overwhelming to buyers.

  2. Develop long term relationships with potential buyers instead of trying to rapidly close sales.

  3. Selling is a conversation. Make an effort to understand what your buyer needs. Ask questions to help the buyer understand what you can offer.

  4. Think of your interaction with potential buyers more as consulting than selling. Position yourself as an expert in your field and know your competition.

  5. Serve as a “buying Sherpa” and help to guide buyers through the complex marketplace. Become a partner to potential buyers and help navigate alternatives and guide them through the buying process.

  6. Stop cold calling. You need to disqualify leads to buyers for which you cannot provide a solution. Don’t chase buyers for which you aren’t a good fit.

  7. Create buyer personas to understand your customer and what experience they want.

  8. Changing the status quo is your biggest competition as a seller

  9. Shorten the sales cycle by creating your value proposition to clearly understand what value you bring to the table and how you are differentiated from your competition.