When I first started in sales I thought that all I needed was to learn a bunch of sales techniques. I soon discovered that there was so much more to selling.

Many sales trainers will have you believe that if you just follow their techniques you will never look back. For some people that will undoubtedly be the case. For many, however, they need to work on other areas. Many of these areas are what are commonly referred to as soft skills and attitude.

I had a lot of work to do on my people skills and found that NLP training helped me enormously. Reading about it in books was a good start but it was when I started attending courses and putting the theory into practice that I started to see significant improvements.

Coaching skills training was another area that made a big difference. I understood the theory of questioning skills but the coaching courses helped me get lots of focused practice. It was useful to take questioning out of the context of sales. I saw the big differences arising from small changes to the wording of a question.

Presentation skills was a weak area for me and so I joined a local speaking club. It gave me the opportunity to practise speaking in front of people and overcoming my problems with nerves. Over a couple years I learnt how to engage people more and interest them in what I had to say. Very useful for lead generation!

The biggest learning came from colleagues and mentors. These were people that were successfully selling in a style that I admired. I made it a goal to copy their style. I was very interested in how they thought about sales and account development and finding out how they would approach a certain situation.

If this sounds like a lot of hard work I must say that these examples took place over a number of years. I believe its better to focus on steady and ongoing improvement. Improving by just 1% a week can totally transform your sales results. Working on our sales technique is important. What often determines the effectiveness of a technique, however, is the quality of our soft skills.

You can find out more about training or mentoring in soft skills for sales by contacting Richard White by email on rwhite@theaccidentalsalesman.com or telephone 01428 651866