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How to Master the Art of Sales

How to Master the Art of Sales

How to Master the Art of Sales

"Nothing happens until someone sells something" and in the modern world, that is true.

To get anything done, you need to gain the co-operation of other people, and in order to get that, you need to "sell them" on your plan, product, service or personality.

Sales is the art of persuasion, and you can think of it in two distinct ways:

  1. Sales is a process.
  2. Sales is a set of communication skills.

Sales is a process.

The sales process has six steps:

1. Introduction

When you first meet your client, your aim is to build an instant rapport and to discover if they qualify for more of your time and effort.

Are they serious contenders? Or a waste of your time?

2. Identification of customer needs

You need to ask relevant questions to ascertain what your qualified customer wants and needs.

3. Presentation of your product

Here is where you demonstrate how you can help your clients, if they invest in your product or service.

4. Close the sale

Here is where you gain commitment from your clients to invest in your product or service.

5. Customer service

Here is where you ensure your customers get what you promised them and you resolve any problems or questions they may have.

6. Add-on Sales

Here is where you find out what additional products and services you can offer to your customer, and/or you gain a referral lead to their contacts.

Sales as a set of communication skills.

To be capable of using the above sales process, you need to develop the following six communication skills:

1. Rapport building

Rapport building is about saying the right things, avoiding saying the wrong things, so that they will instantly like you.

Remember, people will not buy from people they don't like. They are much more likely to buy from people they DO like.

So, to master the art of sales, you must make yourself instantly likeable.

2. Questioning skills.

Your sales opportunity exists in the gap between "what the person has now" and "what the person wants for the future".

If your product or service fills the gap between these two states, then that 'sales bridge' is your sales opportunity.

In order to find the sales bridge, you must ask enough questions to understand what they have now and what they want for the future.

You must develop the art of skillful questioning.

3. Presentation skills.

Now you have identified your sales opportunity, you must present your case, which illustrates how your product or service will help your client bridge the gap.

You must educate your client on the features and benefits of your product and you must answer all their doubts.

This ability is based upon your presentation skills.

4. Persuasion.

Now you must close the sale. You must help your client come to a decision which favours you and your products. You must persuade the client to act NOW.

Many sales people call this skill 'closing', and it is a critical part of your sales process.

5. Voice tones.

In sales, it is not only about what you say, it is also about how you say it.

Your delivery must be pitch perfect. Not too fast, not too slow. Not too shrill. Not too loud.

How you speak, is often as important, as what you say.

6. Body language.

This is your visual impact. It includes many subsets, such as facial expression, smile, handshake, dress code, grooming, gestures and eye contact.

You have to "come across correctly", and not trigger negative emotions by the way you look, or behave.

Body language can help or hinder your sales efforts. It is important to take it seriously.

Knowledge is power.

If you want to learn more about sales and the power to influence, we offer a one-day in-house sales training course.

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About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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Further Reading in Communication - Persuasive Communication

  • Sphere of Influence
    Don't waste your energy on the things you cannot change, instead focus all your energy on smaller number of things you CAN change - what you are going to do, say and on improving your performance.
    Read Article >
  • Gain the Co-operation of Others
    How you can talk to people in ways that are likely to trigger a positive emotional response and gain their co-operation.
    Read Article >
  • How to Improve Your Negotiation Skills
    Not everyone is a born negotiator, but negotiation skills can be learned. Being an effective negotiator requires good communication skills, the ability to persuade, planning and tactical skills. Here are ten ways to improve your negotiation skills.
    Read Article >
  • How to Gain Co-operation
    In order to achieve any goal, you are going to need the co-operation of others and, since you cannot use force, you are going to need to gain their willing co-operation.
    Read Article >
  • Three Steps to Better Communication Skills
    It is important to become a good communicator, since to achieve your goals, you need to gain the willing cooperation of others around you.
    Read Article >

Looking for Communication Skills Training?

If you're looking to develop your Persuasive Communication Skills, you may find this Communication Skills Training Course beneficial:

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