Sales teams make up a huge part of any company. All products or services from luxury to essentials need to be sold, and it takes a special set of skills to be able to build a successful sales career. 

Here are our top 6 skills on how to succeed in your sales career: 

  1. Interpersonal skills
  2. Confidence
  3. Product knowledge
  4. Leadership skills
  5. Resilience
  6. Rapport building 

We caught up with Siobhan, an experienced sales executive to find out what skills she think lead to a successful sales career. 


Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills are traits and characteristics you will need when you interact and communicate with a wide range of people. Interpersonal skills are imperative to be able to build strong relationships with others, which is another key skill for a salesperson. 

Examples of interpersonal skills are:

  • Empathy
  • Patience
  • Active listening
  • Motivation
  • Leadership

Having strong interpersonal skills are imperative assets that can help in your day-to-day work environments such as dealing with negativity and uncertainty. 


Sales environments can be unstable and can bring multiple rejections. Confidence is knowing what you are good at and knowing what value you provide to a situation. This is a key skill to have to ensure you remain positive and motivated in challenging situations. 

When you are confident you will be more able to be more assertive in the workplace. This will be very important especially when managing a sales team. Confidence will allow you to do more. You will be more engaged in a project and will be quicker to push boundaries and will be more comfortable when placed outside of your comfort zone. 

Furthermore, you will communicate more effectively. When you are confident you will be able to speak with more clarity and more precision. In the sales, environment communication is arguably the most important skill and being able to communicate confidently will instil confidence in those around you. 

Product knowledge

Product knowledge is an essential skill to have in a sales environment. Understanding the product you are trying to sell and being able to confidently present the features of the product will accurately and persuasively convey the benefits of the product to the customer. 

When you fully understand your product you can tailor your sales pitch to fit your customers’ specific requirements. 


Leadership skills

Leadership skills are important for many job roles. Your leadership skills will be monitored and will impact how quickly you progress in your career. Leadership skills are much more than being able to tell people what to do. It’s the skills of being able to understand the different skills in your team, and how best to utilise them, how to keep those in your team motivated and how to ensure your team is working effectively with the rest of the business. 

Leadership skills work synonymously with interpersonal skills. Being able to listen, motivate, empathise will ensure you are a great leader. 



Resilience is the ability to pick yourself back up once you have been knocked down, learn from our mistakes and then try again. It is important not to internalise negativity and take rejection personally which may end up knocking your confidence and performance. 

Sales can bring a lot of rejection, for example when cold-calling customers. You may receive multiple rejections a day, and even have to deal with negative or rude customers. A key skill of someone in sales is being able to brush the negativity off and continue working. 

Rapport building

Building a strong rapport with customers is highly important in sales. You need to be able to convince your customer that you are the best person to be selling them this specific product. Alongside this, rapport can affect customer loyalty which is extremely important when your market has high competition. 

Building rapport with customers will also allow you to deal with more complicated scenarios with more confidence. For example, if you need to ask a tricky question, or if there is an issue with a product or order, having a more personal relationship will help you understand the best way to approach the situation and how to rectify the issue in a way that you know will satisfy the customer. 

Rapport building will let your customer know that you are actively listening, and in the long run, can increase trust. People are more likely to do business with people that they like, and already have a relationship with so this is a very important skill to have. 

There’s plenty you can learn from working in sales. If either to progress in your career or to get you started in the world of work. Hear from Siobhan what she believes you can learn from working in sales 

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