Which Sales Basics Do You Need to Improve?

BY Jessica Helinski
Featured image for “Which Sales Basics Do You Need to Improve?”

When was the last time you brushed up on your sales basics? Revisiting and refreshing foundational skills will keep you competitive and in line with modern buyers.

Plus, there are some skills that you may still find challenging. SalesFuel’s Voice of the Sales Rep study revealed that many reps continue to struggle with basic skills. They say the following are their top weaknesses:

  • Challenging misconceptions/​budget concerns
  • Networking
  • Handling rejections

These three skills are an important part of the sales process. If you, too, consider them a weakness, then it’s time to devote attention to improving them.

Master These 3 Sales Basics

Sellers ranked challenging misconceptions/​budget concerns as their top weakness. Not all sellers do their research prior to meeting with a rep. This means it’s up to you to educate the buyer. Having thorough, relevant knowledge before engaging with a buyer can prevent misconceptions or concerns  from rising. 

With your prospects, share with them insights about your product, about the market, how your product is positioned in the market, why your company’s unique, and why they should trust you and buy from you,” advises sales professional Shawn Casemore.

This prevention-​focused approach cuts down on potential objections you face later. But you must know your stuff. The higher quality of pre-​call research you do, the more confident the buyer will be in your solution. And the less likely they will be to question cost (the value) or misinterpret something.

Take a look at these tips, and check out SalesCred PRO to access up-​to-​date information on your prospects and their industry.


Networking has been one of the most important sales basics throughout the history of the profession. But that doesn’t mean it come any easier to sellers. 

Many of us cringe at the idea of talking about ourselves…" writes Maura Walters for Inc. "… [we] or assume interacting with strangers is something only extroverts are good at." Walters also notes, “…it's not an on-​demand experience–which can feel daunting when you live in an on-​demand world.”

But, networking is vital to sales success. Establishing new connections leads to new relationships, which in turn leads to new opportunities. 

If you struggle with networking, don’t despair; it’s a skill that you can easily build. Yes, it will require leaving your comfort zone. But like anything else, the effort will soon get easier.

One of the first things to work on is adjusting your mental approach to networking. This is especially true if it’s something you really don’t enjoy. 

As SalesFuel’s Kathy Crosett explains, sellers should approach networking with a service mindset. “Start thinking of these activities as opportunities instead of burdens,” she writes. “At a networking event, your goal should be to meet people with the idea of helping them with their business challenges.”

Approaching networking events as opportunities to help others reframes it to be less intimidating. You shift the focus from what you could gain to what you can do for others. 

Handling Objections

In sales, not every prospect will be completely on board with your proposal. This is why objection handling is a sales basic you must do well. 

And sellers should be prepared to face a variety of objections, from timing issues to cost. No matter the concern, your response needs to be relevant, confident, and, of course, persuasive. 

The first step when faced with an objection is to listen well. You need to hear and understand (ask questions!) to fully understand their concern. Only then can you craft an effective response. 

Make sure to validate how they’re feeling. This demonstrates empathy and shows you care about them—not just winning their business. Finally, clearly demonstrate why their objection is unfounded. Whether it’s using visuals, data or social proof, leverage evidence of your success and capability. 

And again, mindset helps. As Steli Efti explains for the Close blog, “Instead of being discouraged, see every sales objection as an opportunity to better understand your prospect’s concerns and overcome them.”

For more advice on improving objection handling, consider this four-​step plan.

Mastering sales basics never goes out of style. Take time to improve your skills on a regular basis.

Photo by Kampus Production