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The top eight sales skills you need in your travel business in 2021

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There are a variety of traits that successful salespeople possess. Here are eight top sales skills that sales training courses teach that can help you find success.

The travel industry is starting to regain a foothold, and competition for customers is fierce. As businesses race to get back solid financial footing, developing sales skills is perhaps more crucial than ever.

There are a variety of traits that successful salespeople possess. Here are eight top sales skills that sales training courses teach that can help you find success. 

Relationship building
Strong customer relationships can transform your bottom line and business. For instance, powerful bonds between customers can help reduce churn. A 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by up to 95% according to Bain & Company. 

To strengthen customer relationships, make building rapport a priority. For example, when you meet a prospect, don't rush to pitch your product. Instead, take the time to find points of commonality, and to learn about your customer's interests and pain points. 

Emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to sense, understand, and use emotions positively. This trait is sometimes called EI or EQ. Developing EI is critical to the buying process. 

Most buyers want to trust and feel safe with the business they engage with. EI helps salespeople accurately tune into any customer fears and worries. In turn, that insight can help businesses build trust. Increasing feelings of trust can help lower sales objections and resistance. 

Strategic prospecting
Strategic prospecting is vital for the long-term success of your business. This skill helps you identify sales opportunities that best fit your customer profile. Selling to prospects who are more likely to buy can shorten sales cycles. Shorter sales cycles increase close rates, which can boost sales. 

Training your sales team to prospect strategically is also important as it keeps your pipeline healthy. Studies show that most companies lose up to 20% of their customers each year. A healthy pipeline means you always have a pool of prospects. What's more, those potential customers are easier to convert into buyers.

Social selling 
For any travel business to succeed, it needs customers. Today, most potential customers are permanently online and connected. Social media has, therefore, become an excellent tool to reach your target audience. According to OptinMonster, social sellers are 51% more likely to achieve sales quotas. 

Social selling skills can help you navigate and use social media effectively. This skill helps you understand how to nurture relationships online. When done right, you can generate higher-quality leads. Also, interacting with potential customers online boosts your brand visibility. 

Active listening
A key aspect of selling is talking. However, top sales trainers say that selling requires a delicate balance between talking and listening. In fact, active listening is one of the most underrated skills in the salesperson’s toolkit.

Strong listening skills help you uncover your customer's true needs. You can satisfy your customer's needs better when you know their actual pain points. Customers who are listened to also feel respected and valued. In turn, those customers are more likely to spend more and refer others.

Negotiation
Negotiation and sales go hand in hand.  Hesitant and indecisive buyers can be frustrating. However, with the right skill, you may still be able to carve out a win. When prospects appear to be wavering, negotiation skills can be the difference between closing the deal or walking away with empty hands.

Salespeople trained in the best negotiation skills know how to deliver quality win-win solutions. They can identify their customers’ needs better, which puts them in a stronger position to offer better services. By improving the buying experience, you may be able to attract and retain more customers.

Product knowledge
Potential customers are more likely to trust you if you're confident and knowledgeable. One of the most effective ways to radiate confidence is with knowledge of your product or service.

Improving your product knowledge is something you can do easily. Spend time reading, learning, and training yourself. Also, keep up with trends that impact the travel industry. A great way to stay informed is by attending industry trade shows. You can also subscribe to top travel newsletters and social media accounts.

Resilience
For every sales win, there are plenty of losses. So, regardless of how much training you've had, it pays to build resilience. 

A big part of building resilience comes down to mindset. For example, when you lose a sale, use it as a learning experience. Also, work on being more mindful so that you can put the event in perspective. The faster you can move on, the quicker you can secure other opportunities.

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