What are soft skills and why do they matter? While technical skills may be easy to measure with proficiency tests, soft skills are the intangible attributes people need to be successful in business.
You can know everything about the TVC product line and membership benefits, but if you don’t have soft skills, you’re not tapping into your full potential as an associate.
Soft skills can be the difference between winning people over or having them walk away from your sales presentation. They are like the beside manner of doctors. Having soft skills often determines how much others trust and respect a person.
Not everyone is inherently born with soft skills, but these traits can be learned. The 5 top soft skills that will help TVC associates reach their sales and business goals are:
When a truck driver says they can’t afford a TVC Pro-Driver membership, critical thinkers examine why the driver thinks this way to overcome the objection. Some drivers don’t realize membership is less than a cup of coffee per day while others don’t know more than 60 percent of drivers get a ticket in the first year. Assessing the situation to give the most relevant response is putting critical thinking skills in action and will help you close more sales.
Associates with a strong work ethic are punctual, focused and organized. They also know how to work independently and make sales goals without close supervision. As an independent associate, you are the only person responsible for your success. Developing a strong work ethic can mean the difference between being a top associate or failing to reach objectives.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage emotions. Associates with high emotional intelligence will find it easier to establish relationships with prospects. High emotional intelligence also helps you better understand your own emotional state and take corrective action when feeling negative. Several emotional intelligence assessments are available to help you see what areas you could improve, including this free one from MindTools.
Associates who do what they say they’re going to do are well on their way to being masters of accountability. Just think, if TVC didn’t provide legal representation when we promised to do so, we would quickly lose business for not being accountable to members. Accountability is the cornerstone of integrity, which builds trust and leads to long-term success.
Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
Skilled negotiators know how to build relationships and persuade prospects to sign up for membership by telling them all the benefits of the TVC product line. Similarly, conflict resolution depends on interpersonal skills and the ability to build rapport with potential members. Every time you overcome a sales objection, you have put your negotiation and conflict resolution skills to good use. Prospects will never stop giving objections, so it’s important to keep practicing and refining your skills.
Developing Soft Skills
Associates who don’t work on their soft skills can face a roadblock to success by lacking the intangible qualities people need to run a successful business.
There are several online resources which can help improve soft skills. Popular websites offering courses on the topic include Lynda.com and Udemy. Goodreads and Lifehack also offer lists of popular soft skills books, many of which can be checked out for free at your local library. Practicing with a friend is another easy way to develop soft skills. Have them play the role of a prospect and then give feedback on your presentation. Developing soft skills doesn’t happen overnight, but putting effort toward refining these traits can lead to higher sales and more commission.