10 Skills Great Salespeople Have in Common
What are the skills great salespeople have in common? Many think that to be great at sales you must be pushy or overbearing. But for the professional selling something they truly believe in — like travel — your goal is not to make someone purchase something they don’t want. A great salesperson uses their expertise and people-skills to guide the client to a purchase that will exceed their expectations. Why? A happy client is a loyal client.
Selling skills are people skills
Introverts, hang with me for a minute!
You might notice that most of the skills that make a good salesperson are people-oriented. So what if you aren’t the most outgoing person you know? A sales career isn’t just for extroverts. If introversion is your natural stance, this might actually give you the edge when it comes to being a great observer and listener. If you’ve got those skills down you might be halfway there!
Here are 10 skills that great salespeople have in common:
Clear communication is essential — especially if you’re selling something with lots of details to manage. Travel planning requires a lot of coordination and attention to detail. Be upfront about the rules and requirements of your travel packages. This will help you avoid confusion and frustration later on. Be a clear communicator and a timely responder.
Do you truly listen when someone is talking or are you just mentally preparing what you’re going to say next? Do you brush off their concerns? People can tell when you’re really not getting it and this will make them cautious to work with you. Show that you understand their perspective by restating their goals or concerns before you offer your solution.
E.Q. and Empathy
Psychology Today defines emotional intelligence, also known as emotional quotient (E.Q.), as “the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.” Empathy, a component of E.Q., is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. In other words, empathy helps you put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
Can you read a room? Can you tell how your clients feel about you? E.Q. understands what clients are truly saying… and what they’re not saying. With high emotional intelligence, you can better understand motives and fears, which will ultimately help you reach higher customer satisfaction.
Do you know someone who is always saying, “I know a guy!” This person is probably a great networker. Networking is an invaluable skill in sales, especially in the travel industry. Travelers often use a travel agent to help book experiences they cannot get anywhere else. You can provide these experiences by building great connections within the travel industry.
“A story is relatable, personal, and memorable.”
Did you know that we see somewhere between 6000 and 10,000 ads per day? In fact, we scroll past an average of 300 feet of content in a day. That’s about the height of the Statue of Liberty! If you want your content read, it needs to be worthwhile. Focus on using your platforms to inspire clients to travel rather than to talk about the benefits of your brand. Share your own vacations, your travel hacks, and detailed information about your experiences. A sales pitch makes your audience skeptical. But a story is relatable, personal, and memorable.
➡️ Read next: How to Create Shareable Content for Your Travel Agency
“Instead of clinging tightly to one solution, a curious salesperson will work diligently for the best solution, even if it is unconventional.”
Intellectual curiosity is like networking for the mind. Curious salespeople don’t just know their product well but are eager to learn a new skill or area of expertise that may benefit clients. A curious travel agent pays attention to everything that touches the travel industry: travel trends, emerging destinations, culture and language, news in the airline world. Curiosity will also serve you well when it comes to problem-solving. Instead of clinging tightly to one solution, a curious salesperson will work diligently for the best solution, even if it is unconventional.
Be the expert in your field. Not only should you know your niche, but know the demographic your niche attracts. If you’re selling adventure travel, learn everything there is to know about adventure travel and learn about the people that seek it out.
If you don’t believe in yourself your clients won’t either. Don’t be afraid to charge what you are worth. If you can truly offer a great service: expertise in your niche and an unparalleled experience, the right clients will be willing to pay.
Optimism is essential in sales, especially with a big-ticket purchase like a travel package. Making a big purchase can be a stressful decision for your clients and your optimism will put them at ease. This does not mean that you should be unrealistic or try to sweep potential problems under the rug. It just means having an attitude of “we can do that!” or “we can figure it out!”
While integrity is last on the list, it is the character trait upon which every other quality stands. Without integrity, confidence is pride, storytelling may be misleading and optimism omissive. Integrity in sales won’t make you rich fast. And it’s certainly not the easy way. It’s hard to take the high road when your competition is taking cheap shots. But if you really want to build a brand that will last and gain you fiercely loyal clients, strive for integrity first.