Excellent communication skills are vital for sales and marketing success. Your success in sales and marketing is reliant on your ability to gather and present relevant information to your prospect in a believable and trustworthy manner. Your pricing, product features, and propositions do not matter until you can communicate effectively with your prospects.
You have to be quick to learn what your prospects want, how they want it, and the communication style they prefer, so you can execute your strategy accordingly. Florida National University (FNU) offers a marketing and sales program that will equip you with the best sales marketing skills to ensure your success no matter the obstacles you may face. While we will prepare you for success, nine communication skills are crucial to sales success.
1. Nonverbal Communication
Body language is a conversation on its own. Nonverbal communication can tell your prospect a lot about you. It’s not a coincidence that body language is referred to as a “language.” For instance, eye contact shows empathy and tells your prospects that their concerns have been heard. On the other hand, playing with your hair or crossing your arms can display insecurity and nervousness. Be conscious of your body language. You might be unknowingly communicating something, or they might be communicating something with their body language. Pay attention and learn what they are trying to tell you with their body.
2. Active Listening
Effective communication also means listening. Many sales and marketing people forget to listen. You have to listen to the needs and wants of your prospect. Sure, you can try to sell them anything, but if they don’t need or want it, you’re wasting both of your time. The best sales and marketing people do more listening than talking to understand their clients better.
3. Clarity is Paramount
Ineffective communication happens when you are not being clear and concise. This leaves room for misinterpretation and confusion. Remain informative and straightforward. Ask more questions if you need to. If your client is confused, figure out where the miscommunication started and reword it differently. If you believe in the product you’re selling, you should be able to sell it in 20 different ways.
4. Be Straightforward
Remember the nonverbal aspect of communication skills? No matter how you try to hide a lie, your clients will see through dishonesty. It is easy to sense, whether in your tone or if you’re promising farfetched mathematics. Lies will never last, the truth will manifest itself sooner or later. If your product is right for them, they will buy it. If it’s not, they won’t. There is no need to be dishonest to get the sale.
5. Continue Researching
Some of the courses you’ll take in FNU’s marketing and sales degree program include:
- Marketing Research
- Consumer Behavior
- Marketing Analytics
- Brand Marketing
- Customer Relationship Marketing
- Retail Marketing
- Digital Marketing
Utilize the skills that you acquire from our marketing and sales program to continue researching your potential customers and current trends in your niche. Trends change in every industry. Make sure you’re constantly doing research and keeping up with trends to ensure you’re prepared for anything that comes your way.
6. Avoid Assumptions
If you have been in sales and marketing for some time, it’s easy to become comfortable. If your first 50 customers are happy, don’t become lazy and assume your 51st customer will be. Each person is different with unique desires. Tailor your services to them as much as you can without sacrificing the quality of your product.
Don’t assume the worst in prospects or potential clients. Sometimes customers need a few days to think things over. Maybe they have someone they have to talk to before making a big purchase. Whatever the case, don’t assume the worst. It’s possible they can’t afford it and they don’t want to deal with confrontation. Put yourself in their shoes and understand where they are coming from.
7. Always be Persistent
In sales, there is often a very thin line between persistence and being a nuisance. Constantly emailing or calling a certain prospect without knowing why they are not responding is the quickest way to lose a client. If your prospect has not replied to your message or call, try a different tactic. People can detect a pushy salesperson from a mile away. You can start a new conversation and after you reengage the client, you can bring the conversation back to business. If they don’t respond within a week, try again next week. If they didn’t respond the second time, maybe it’s time to give them a month.
8. Learn to be Comfortable with Silence
This may be the hardest skill for salespeople to learn. Silence is uncomfortable. When you ask your prospective client a question and they pause, do not try to fill the silence with a follow-up question or clarification. Pause two to five seconds to ensure you don’t interrupt your prospect’s thought. This sets the precedent that you are okay with your client’s silence. Often they are thinking things through. Maybe they’re debating on moving forward but if you interrupt or try to over-explain something to compensate for the silence, it could jeopardize the sale.
9. Stay Positively Curious
One of the most important aspects of sales and marketing is curiosity. Apply good communication skills to ask relevant questions that will help you better understand your clients. Learn how to ask the right questions to help you understand what they are trying to tell you. This will take practice and there are multiple sales books, specifically on this subject. Keep your mind sharp and stay positively curious about human behavior.
Florida National University Marketing and Sales Degree Program
Effective communication skills are the bridge between your sales skills and closing the deal. FNU’s Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Sales program provides students with an understanding of the basic structures and processes in marketing and the skills necessary to be able to analyze and solve marketing problems and opportunities. The program also prepares students to pursue advanced certifications in marketing such as the Certified Professional Marketer (CPM – American Marketing Association). Are you ready to start your career in marketing and sales? Contact FNU at 305-821-3333 or contact us online.