An effective salesperson will possess various skills that enable him or her to effectively communicate with customers. Aside from communications skills, however, the skills of a salesperson will often include exceptional time management, organizational skills, and an ability to process complex information so he or she can synthesize it into simpler terms and concepts. Perhaps one of the most important skills of a salesperson, however, is an exceptional ability to listen carefully to the needs and questions posed by the customer. Sales isn't always about talking; in fact, it's usually more about listening and then accommodating.
It is possible to take a class that will teach you the skills of a salesperson; such courses are often focused on developing speaking and listening skills, which are both vital for success in sales. Classes may also teach you how to thoroughly research the products so you can present yourself as an expert when it comes to selling the product or service. A good salesperson is able to listen to the customer's needs, process that information, and present an argument for convincing the customer why his or her product or service will make the customer's life easier or in some way better.
You may also cultivate the essential skills of a salesperson by taking an entry level sales job and trying your hand at it. Retail positions are often great ways to improve your sales skills and learn more about your own strengths and weaknesses. As part of a retail team, you will learn about various products and have an opportunity to educate customers about these product on a daily basis. Retail positions generally do not pay well, but they will give you valuable work experience you will need when applying for higher paying salesperson jobs with more responsibility.
The best salespeople know that the skills of a salesperson should always be changing. Learning from others is the best way to improve your skills, even if you are the most seasoned salesperson on a team. Observe other salespeople and constantly listen for changing strategies, new approaches, and the utilization of new technology. No one simply becomes the best salesperson; he or she will constantly work at it and adapt to changing customer needs and moods. Know the market well; educate yourself constantly so you know what people are looking for, why they want it, and how much they are willing to pay for it.