10 Key Sales Skills that Don't Require Natural Talent

BY Rachel Cagle
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Does it seem like some of your fellow sales reps in the office have a God-​given talent for sales? It can be discouraging to work alongside such people when you feel you have to work as hard as you can to accomplish what they seem to do naturally. Don’t lose hope for your future in sales, though. According to Brian Dodd, there are 10 traits that successful sales reps need that do not have anything to do with talent. And these might be key sales skills that naturals overlook.

Key Sales Skills that Don't Require Natural Talent


Humans are impatient beings. We can now look up any information we want in a matter of seconds. If a website takes too long to load, we just go to the next one on the search engine results page. The fast food industry is thriving because we can get meals in a matter of minutes, cheaply and with zero effort. And you have a matter of seconds to grab and hold a prospective customer's attention during a sales call before they hang up on you. So, why should they be forgiving if you are late for your sales meeting with them? No matter how naturally talented you are at sales, there’s not an easy way to redeem yourself for wasting a prospect’s time. This is why punctuality is among the most crucial key sales skills.


A rep who is naturally gifted at sales may not feel the need to put in as much effort to research a prospect before meeting with the person. Once they know the prospect’s name, position and company they work for, the rep may consider that to be all the information that they need. However, you have more of a chance at success by doing enough research to know the potential needs and desires of both the prospect’s company and them as individuals. Did you happen to go to the same university or cheer on the same sports team? This research allows for a human connection beyond the sale, which is often the deciding factor for a client when choosing between two competing sales reps with fairly similar products.

Body Language

Your natural body language will not work the same way on all prospects. Yes, you should always smile and have open body language that focuses on the prospect. However, research has shown that people tend to feel more comfortable around people with body language that is similar to their own. If you subtly study how your prospect sits and gestures, you will be able to respond with similar body language yourself. Paying attention to a prospective customer's body language and responding accordingly is one of the key sales skills all sales reps need to possess. However, other sales reps may not feel the need to change what has usually worked for them in the past, so you will gain an advantage over them by practicing this skill.

These are only three of Dodd’s 10 key sales skills; check out his article to find out the rest.