Sales happen primarily through conversations. You get invited into a sales conversation as a result of your reputation, your relationship or your marketing efforts but the process of the prospect choosing to work with you is a result of the sales conversation.

Sales is a Conversation

Sales conversations can take on different forms and have different areas of focus. They can be about possibility, planning, process, needs, results and challenges, etc. Whatever the form and focus of the sales conversation, the salesperson uses the same basic set of communication skills. Mastering these skills to a high level of competence is what enables the salesperson to have sales success.

Interestingly, virtually all of the communications skills presented below are based on ordinary language functions. In sales, though, these skills get taken to a whole new level of refinement and sophistication.

The similarity between ordinary language skills and the way in which these skills are used in sales conversations presents both an opportunity and a challenge. On the positive side: The basic infrastructure of these skills is readily available to anyone who has mastered language. On the challenge side: Learning these skills requires the ability to notice some subtle distinctions in order to grasp how these skills operate in sales.

In moving to this level of competence, the salesperson often has to ‘unlearn’ habits of a life time in how he/she speaks and listens. The good news is the higher level to which we take these skills will show up in our interactions with others.

Adapted from The Adler School of Professional Coaching Inc, Foundations

The following communication skills are essential skills for successful sales conversations:

Listening, hearing, processing what you hear, reflecting back, clarifying, asking powerful questions, reframing, identifying assumptions, acknowledging, direct communication, self awareness and self management.

If you would like to learn more, email and ask for our resource paper titled Effective Communication Skills