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Our top tips for how to improve sales skills

It's one thing to market your business effectively and generate new customer leads, but how do you make sure you convert those leads into sales?

Marketing your business and generating new customer leads is important. But it’s only part of the story. You’ll also need to make sure you’re converting those leads into sales.

Getting the sale is all in the technique. In this blog, we’ll show you how to improve your sales skills to make sure you’re turning those leads into customers.

How to improve sales skills

If you’re wondering how to improve your selling skills, you’re in the right place. With our top tips under your utility belt, you may even start to find the art of selling a joy.

How to develop your sales skills

Have confidence

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

You need to become your own best salesperson. To do that, always 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.

Build rapport

Inviting a tradesperson into your property is a fairly personal transaction. Whether born out of necessity or as a way for homeowners to enhance their property, 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 will go a long way to reassure the homeowner that you’re the right person for the job and instil trust. It’ll also make it easier to ask the necessary questions to help the homeowner choose your services.

Be resilient

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to request quotes from – and meet with – a number of tradespeople before settling on the right person for the job. Therefore don’t be put off if some jobs don’t fall in your favour. You can’t win them all.

The best salespeople are resilient. They’re able to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and move on to the next opportunity with confidence.

Tradesperson servicing a washing machine

Be adaptable

You may come up against objections from your potential new customers, for example over your prices or timeline. It’s how you handle these objections that matters.

Consider some of the objections you could come across and plan how to respond to them. It could be the difference between securing the job or not.

The other key attribute of a great salesperson is the ability to adapt their sales technique as and when needed. If what you’re doing isn’t resulting in the sales you want, take some time to look at your sales process to identify where improvements could be made.

Show entrepreneurial spirit

An entrepreneurial spirit is important not only for the sale you’re working on but for the future growth of your business.

Entrepreneurs and business owners who are hungry for success will plan ahead and think about how one sale can benefit the next, and so on and so forth.


  • Is there an opportunity for future work at the property you’re working at? Perhaps you offer an annual service, or there’s an opportunity to upsell your skills.
  • Could you ask for a referral or customer review? This can be a really effective way to turn one sale into many more.

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How to improve communication skills in sales

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

Communication is not about talking at the customer, waxing lyrical about the prowess of your business. Communication is about two key things:

  1. Listening – it’s not about you, it’s about the customer. Never try to talk a customer into something they don’t need or want. Listen to their needs and consider how your business can meet them or offer a solution.
  2. Asking questions – ask questions that will help to guide the customer to make a wise decision that fulfils their needs.

If you do these two things effectively, you’ll find it much easier to close 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, employ all the techniques we’ve outlined so far, from listening to showing off your can-do attitude and expertise.
  3. One of the most important things you can do is to ask discovery questions to understand the customer need 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, working out what might be stopping someone from saying “yes” so that you can remove any 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 that 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, follow up to ask if the customer would 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.


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 and listening, and show how your services offer a suitable solution to the customer’s needs.

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Content disclaimer: This content has been created for general information purposes and should not be taken as formal advice. Read our full disclaimer here.

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