Even if you have all of the skills required of a sales person, it’s essential that you regularly work at training and improving them. It’s easy to become complacent once you’re confident in your talents and abilities, which can lead to skill stagnation over the long-term. And once you begin to rest on your laurels, you start to lose money.

But you can prevent this by finding ways to sharpen your sales skills. This will ensure that you’re always performing at the optimal level and reaching peak success.

Here are just a few ways to sharpen your sales skills.

Focus on People

An easy way to gain people’s trust is to show that you’re authentic. If you prioritize the customer, they will notice and develop faith in you. This will make them more likely to absorb what you’re telling them.

One way to do this is to ask about their desires in a potential transaction, and what they hope to gain through it. If you can respond to these emotions in a sincere way, attempting to truly find a solution for them, they’re more likely to do business with you now and in the future.

You should also follow up and make sure that they fully understand what you’re explaining. Ask questions like, “Does that make sense?” and, “ Can I explain anything more thoroughly?” to ensure that you’re on the same page. Any miscommunication can lose you the valuable relationship.

Inject Personality

Being yourself is another way to gain people’s trust. If your personality meshes with the customer’s, they’re more likely to open up and have a real conversation with you.

This also means knowing your strengths and playing to them. If you’re excellent at bringing new clients on board, focus on new business. If you’re better at maintaining relationships with existing clients, focus your energies on that. Your natural abilities are extremely beneficial, so make sure those are the skills you’re sharpening.

Use Your Platform

Another way to sharpen your sales skills is to become active online. Whether it’s social media or a blog, you can use these platforms to do a multitude of things. For one, you can stay connected to your existing customers, staying in the front of their mind and perhaps reminding them that they’re in need of your services again.

Additionally, you can forge relationships with brand new customers who may not be aware of your business and how you can help them. With targeted marketing, you can increase awareness of your services and convert people who were unaware of you into loyal customers.

You can also show off your industry knowledge with thoughtful blog posts about trends and news in the sector. Having a voice and being a thought leader can do wonders for your bottom line. This will also force you to stay informed and make you a more effective seller.

Analyze Your Successes

It’s key to know what works for you and what doesn’t. Take a good look at your wins and break down what your strategies were in each instance. If you find that one method works for you time and again, while another is less fruitful, you know where to focus your energies. Once you trim this fat, you’ll be left with only the leanest skills you have in your arsenal. Now, you can work towards perfecting them.

Stay Organized and Stop Procrastinating

Keeping an organized and clean workspace is essential to optimal performance. If you can’t find that one great customer’s contact information, you’re destined to lose their business in the future. Any time spent searching for files or tracking down emails is time wasted, which you can’t afford.

Similarly, procrastinating can lose you a sale. If you hesitate to make that call for even an hour, you could miss your window of opportunity. Acting consistently and regularly can be seen as practice – the more you do something correctly, the better you will do it going forward.


All else being said, know when to take a break. If you burn yourself out, your overall performance level drops and you end up doing more harm to your career than good. Balance is becoming an increasingly hot topic for this very reason.

Be sure to work hard. But set boundaries for yourself. Know when to slow down and when to go full-speed. You’ll know when your performance starts to suffer. So, listen to your mind and body and take some time to refuel.

If you’re looking to develop your sales skills in a new work environment, check out Michael Page's job listings. If you choose to apply, one of our expert recruitment consultants will be in touch with relevant opportunities.