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How to be a good salesperson

As with any new business, sales are going to be key to its success. So, to get your business off to the best start, you should learn how to be a good salesman. Read on for all the tips you need to know.

We’ve all heard the saying ‘people buy people’. And never a truer word spoken, especially when it comes to tradespeople.

Homeowners need to trust the tradesperson they’re inviting into their homes. And they need to have confidence in the trade’s ability to provide an excellent service.

That’s why learning how to be a good salesperson is vital for any trade business to thrive. Read on for our tips for making a better connection with your potential new customers and building rapport.

How to be a great salesman

1. Always be authentic, honest, and act with integrity

This means:

  • Don’t try to sell people things they don’t need
  • Never lie or be misleading
  • If you say you’re going to do something, do it

2. Be confident

Would you buy from someone who didn’t fill you with confidence in the service they claimed to provide? No, probably not.

To be a great salesperson, make sure you take on a positive, ‘can-do’ attitude when you meet prospective new customers.

Don’t be afraid to allow your knowledge and expertise to shine through. This will drive greater confidence in the customers’ eyes, making you instantly more reputable.

If you have confidence in yourself and your services, it’ll make your customers feel more confident in your services, too.

Tradesperson servicing a washing machine

3. Have the right attitude

You’re an expert in the services you’re offering. Make sure this comes across in your approach by being passionate, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable.

These attributes will make you more reputable in your customers’ eyes.

4. Build rapport

Inviting a tradesperson into your property is a fairly personal transaction. Whether it’s for repairs or home enhancement, your services will often carry a significant emotional and financial investment for homeowners.

If you can build a rapport, you’re halfway to sealing the deal. A good rapport helps instil trust and reassure the homeowner that you’re the right person for the job.

It’ll also make it easier to ask the necessary questions to help the homeowner choose your services.

5. Be resilient and adaptable

In an ideal world, you’d receive a consistent volume of sales at a pace you can manage.

However, in reality, sales can fluctuate. You must be able to adapt your approach as and when needed.

A good salesperson returns to the drawing board to think about how they can generate more sales. For example:

  • Perhaps it’s time to join a trade directory to help market your business. It’s a great way to get a trusted brand associated with your lesser-known business.
  • Do you need to review your sales process? Are there any leads that were allowed to run cold?
  • Have you followed up on reviews from completed jobs?
  • If what you’re doing isn’t resulting in the sales you want, take some time to look at your sales process. This will help you to identify where improvements could be made.

What's the Checkatrade Trades App?

Only members can use it, but it's a great little tool to get you more work

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How to communicate effectively

The ability to communicate effectively will have a major impact on your success (or failure) when it comes to sales.

Gone are the days of forcing sales that people don’t need or want. It’s not about your needs, it’s about the needs of your customers and how you can fulfil them.

  • Listen to your customers’ needs
  • Ask questions to understand and identify how your services can meet those needs and/or offer a solution.
  • Preempt objections and plan how to handle them well. For example, if the customer says they’ve received a cheaper quote elsewhere. How would you respond to this?
  • Follow up with the customer to ask if they have any further questions, or if they’ve received your quote ok, with the aim of ‘closing the sale’.

How to improve phone sales skills

Sometimes it’s necessary to speak with a potential new customer over the phone to seal the deal. But how can you improve your selling techniques to work in your favour in this instance?

  1. Don’t call potential new customers until you have time to talk to them. Sounding rushed is a no-no.
  2. When on the call, use the techniques we’ve outlined so far, from listening to showing off your can-do attitude.
  3. Ask discovery questions to understand the needs that your business can fulfil.
  4. Make sure you control the call by using the answers to your discovery questions to guide the potential new customer towards a close.
  5. Don’t forget to use your objection-handling skills. This will help you to get to the truth of the matter more effectively. Plus work out what might prevent someone from saying “yes” and allow you to remove obstacles.

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How to improve upselling skills

  • Ensure customer satisfaction – if the customer is happy with the service you’ve provided, it’s a good time to upsell.
  • Make sure it’s relevant – if you’re at a customer’s property to service a washing machine, for example, mention the other appliances and services you offer. If you have a business card, leave it with the customer.
  • Use social proofing – direct customers towards examples of the work you’re upselling, and even better, reviews of satisfied customers. Your Checkatrade profile is the perfect place to showcase this.
  • Follow up – if you’ve decorated a customer’s kitchen and they mention they’re thinking of redecorating the lounge, see it as an opportunity. Ask if they’d like to book the job while you still have availability. This also works to present a sense of urgency. However, never be pushy.

Read our recent blog on how to upsell and cross-sell for more tips.

tradesperson making a sale

How to set up your business for success

Your business needs to be seen as trustworthy. It’ll make your life easier when it comes to selling. A customer will come to you knowing you’re the real deal.

But how do you build trust with a customer when they haven’t even chatted to you yet? Here are a few ways.

1.  Start growing the number of reviews you have

Having people rave about your level of service and quality finish is gold dust for your business. Customers saying you’re great is the best sales tactic a business can have.

It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, and it has a name in marketing. It’s called social proofing. This means using the opinions of real people who’ve worked with you to persuade other people to work with you.

People listen to other people’s opinions, which is why social proofing is so important.

Social proofing uses the ‘bandwagon effect’ to encourage customers to choose your business over your competition.

And one of the top ways to social proof your business? Customer reviews!

2. Embrace technology

Checkatrade members use our app to manage their directory listing on the go, update photos of recent work, and encourage customers.

The Checkatrade profile is a straightforward and effective way to demonstrate your skills. Not to mention, showcase the services you can provide, which is important because 1 in 4 homeowners using Checkatrade are checking quality credentials before going direct*.

Checkatrade members also receive a range of benefits. These include a free finance app. So they can prepare and send professional quotes and invoices to customers quickly and easily.

What's the Checkatrade Trades App?

Only members can use it, but it's a great little tool to get you more work

Find out more

3. Know your market

If you’re to be successful in sales, you need to understand your market.

To stand out from the competition, take time to research your market. This will help you develop an understanding of your business’s unique selling points (USPs).

Of course, communicate this to your prospective customers to help them see why they should choose you! This could be based on your level of expertise, areas of expertise, qualifications, or accreditations.

You also need to understand your customers. Then you can market your business effectively. Do you know where they hang out? Do you know where they search when they need support or inspiration?

4. Associate your business with trusted brands

Having qualifications and marks of trust go a long way. These include:

How does Checkatrade build customer trust?

When homeowners need work done to their homes, many look to Checkatrade. This is because we check all our members. That’s a nice little bit of security and a confidence boost for your customers.

Checkatrade is the most well-known sign of quality vs other leading directory brands*. Checkatrade is the quickest way to confirm to homeowners that you’re the real deal. In fact, 8 out of 10 people would choose a trade endorsed by Checkatrade compared to one that isn't endorsed**.

You really can save time and money in building your brand’s trust. Find out more in the below blog:

As a new business, a profile on the #1 trade directory will get you in front of homeowners looking for your services.

You must first pass our checks to become an Approved member. After this, you can flex your membership month-to-month as needed to suit the volume of leads you wish to receive.

One of the biggest benefits of working with us is that we can help you optimise your profile for success. You can also find tons of useful tips, like how to write a Checkatrade profile description to make you stand out.


What is the most important skill in sales?

Some of the most important skills in sales are sincerity, behaving ethically, and asking questions. Always listen to the customer’s needs or wants.

Ask questions and offer suitable solutions. Never try to persuade a customer to buy something they don’t need.

How can I sharpen my sales skills?

To sharpen your sales skills, work on building rapport with potential new customers. Communicate effectively by asking questions, listening and showing how your services offer a suitable solution to the customer’s needs.

Build a profile to help you sell

Being on Checkatrade puts you in the best place to convert leads into real jobs

About our profiles

*Claims are sourced from a survey conducted by Deep Blue Thinking on a nationally representative UK sample in November 2021.

**Claims are sourced from a survey conducted by Deep Blue Thinking on a nationally representative UK sample in November 2021.

***Claims are sourced from a survey conducted by Deep Blue Thinking on a nationally representative UK sample in November 2021.

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