Do you have the skills necessary to sell?

steven eichmeier
Weber State University technical sales professor Steven Eichmeier conducts a sales career seminar Feb. 1, 2013 in a classroom newly refurbished as part of the Alan E. Hall Center for Sales Excellence.

By Steven Eichmeier
Standard-Examiner contributor
WEDNESDAY , APRIL 22, 2015       

Recently I overheard two friends talking about jobs and career opportunities. The one person told the other that they were considering a position as a sales representative for a national corporation. The other person reacted by saying, “Well, you should be a good sales person, you like to talk a lot.”

You might react by saying, “Well, isn’t that true?” It goes without saying that having a good command of the English language is very helpful for sales people to have in their toolbox of selling skills and abilities. Personal presentation, product knowledge and identifying customer needs are also vital.

Many people are attracted to their sales careers because they have heard or learned from associates of the advantages of working in sales, i.e. above-average income, autonomy, free time, paid vacation, and being one’s own boss with little or no supervision, just to mention a few of the more popular thoughts.

Let’s review some of the skills/abilities that you must have to be a successful sales person and meet your career expectations:
— Social perceptiveness is being aware of another’s reactions and understanding why they react as they do. This requires the sales person to identify personality styles of people, which give him/her insight on how to approach the potential customer and their questions/objections.

— Oral expression is the ability to communicate information and ideas by speaking so others will understand. Speech clarity is also an important aspect of oral expression that allows the listener to understand the message being sent to them. The professional sales person needs to have a strong vocabulary and be able to speak English grammatically correct. The ability to paint a picture in the mind of the customers by the sales person is one of the most powerful skills the sales person can possess.

— Oral comprehension is the other element that goes along with oral expression. Oral comprehension and active listening go hand in hand as a sales person gives his/her full attention to what others are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions if appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

— Persuasion. We often hear that a sales person must be persuasive by changing the minds or behaviors of the customers. Persuasion is not manipulation and the sales person needs to be careful not to come across as being manipulative.

— Negotiation is the process of bringing the customer to the point that the confirming of the sale is a win-win for both the sales person and the customer, a point where both parties’ objectives are being met.

These are just a few of the vital skills a sales person must possess to be successful.\

Steven Eichmeier is a professor of professional sales in the Department of Professional Sales at Weber State University.

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