In our sales training programmes, I always start by asking the trainees what they think is the most important skill in selling.
Invariably, the gift of the gab will always come up. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth and it is a myth perpetuated by movie and TV characters who are portrayed as being able to sell ice to Eskimos.
The truth is that the new generation of buyers are no longer naive and the proliferation of the Internet and increased educational levels make today's buyers savvy to silver-tongued salespersons. It is thus practically impossible to sell them something they do not need.
As such, in our sales training programme, we emphasize the need to listen and understand the buyers' needs. It is only with this understanding that the salesperson will be able to offer the company's solution to meet that need.