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How to Practise Your Selling Skills: Be a Better Customer

How to Practise Your Selling Skills: Be a Better Customer
November 08, 2018

What’s the best way to practise your selling skills? 

And no, I'm not going to say "Why, with a selling skills workshop, of course!" 

The best way to practise your selling skills is to practise being a better customer.


When I run my selling skills workshops, I emphasise how important it is for everyone to practise the skills they learn during the session. These skills include:

  • Empathy
  • Active listening
  • Finding your customer’s pain points
  • Finding solutions for your customer 
  • Gaining the order


After all, we don’t expect to be able to play a musical instrument or drive a car without a huge amount of practice, so why should selling be any different? 

Confidence comes from knowledge and skills well performed. 

Lots of people tell me that they don’t feel confident enough to put the skills they learn into practice. But there's nothing like getting out there and doing it (and failing a lot) to really master a skill. And the more you try and fail, the less apprehensive you'll feel. 

Practising skills at the self-service tills

This really hit home for me one afternoon, not long ago. I was in the supermarket going through the (challenging at the best of times) self-service checkout area. Every time I put my own empty plastic bag on the shelf beside the till, a red light came on and told me to "Call an assistant!" 

When the fresh-faced, grinning young employee came over once again, I smiled and said,

“It’s a bit sensitive isn’t it?”

“Not as sensitive as some of our customers!” he laughed. I asked him what he meant and he told me, 

“When this happens to some people, you have no idea how bad-tempered they get – and often swear at me like it's my fault.” 

“Bet you have to learn how to deal with a lot of different people?”  

He nodded and smiled knowingly. 

Being a better customer

I knew how he felt. And I told him about the time I'd been physically thrown out of my first solo sales call, by a small - but incredibly strong - store manager. I reassured him that my sales career had improved after that, which he found quite amusing.

Hey presto! In the space of 90 seconds, we'd not only developed a relationship but also made one another’s day that little bit better.

What kind of customer are you?

Selling is almost exclusively about communication. As customers, we often don’t communicate well when we’re confronted with a salesperson. 
So, next time you buy something, use your selling skills to make the experience better for yourself and for the salesperson. Getting angry helps no one and definitely hinders communication, if not cutting the lines altogether. 

Try it this week. Put yourself on the other side of the ‘sales-versation’ and see what you can learn about selling!

It will make you a better salesperson.

Want to boost your sales team’s confidence in the field? Book a selling skills workshop with me and give your team the foundation they need to make more sales. Whether you need one-to-one training or would like to book a group selling skills workshop, get in touch today to chat about the best session for you and your sales team.

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