Sales Training: Product Knowledge, Soft Skills, or Both?

A couple of years ago, I conducted a series of interviews with sales leaders as part of an in-depth exploration of success in sales. For the project, I talked to sales thought leaders, authors, and trainers, including Richard Harris, Mark Hunter of The Sales Hunter, Andrea Waltz, and Max Altschuler of Sales Hacker.

I asked all of them about the most important skills salespeople need to close deals. Without fail, all the sales leaders brought up people skills.

Waltz, the author of Go for No! talked about the importance of not fearing rejection. Harris talked about the importance of an authentic dialogue between salesperson and prospect. Hunter discussed the need for good listening skills in a rep. One concept that kept coming up again and again was the idea of sales as a form of service.

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