?In the competitive market of sales, it is vitally important to develop skills and tricks to set yourself apart from other sellers. One of the most important abilities to have in any career is your ability to sell - sell yourself, sell your ideas, and sell your products. Skill in sales will open up doors to retail, management, advertising, and a plethora of other jobs. The key thing about a career in sales is that you are in control - you have the ability to push forward and make the most of yourself and your job, taking steps to hone your sales skills and increase your success in the field. STEP #1: SELL TO YOUR MARKET The first, and perhaps most important, key to improving your sales ability is to know your target group - whom you want to sell to. A well-crafted sales pitch keeps the target market constantly in mind, carefully tailoring expressions and words to appeal to that group. If your target group is young children, for example, your pitch should be geared towards selling to that group - with simple language, bright and colourful marketing, and vivid imagery. When selling to a business, however, cleanly outlining what you have to offer, and displaying strong facts or statistics packs more punch than a colourful description. STEP #2: LISTEN TO YOUR MARKET Being open to feedback and experimenting with wording can bring a mediocre sales pitch to a powerful level. Many salespeople will simply talk over the customer in hopes to overwhelm them into a purchase, but being more open and attentive will give you an instant advantage. Listening to your customer also puts you on their side, and makes them feel that you sympathize with them - no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. When you listen to your customers, you will better know how to make them listen to you, and how to hone your sales skills to match your market. STEP #3: KNOW YOUR PRODUCT Whether you're selling real estate or Barbie dolls, it is essential to truly know what you are selling. Knowledge of your product gives you an immense advantage over a salesperson that is simply "giving their pitch." Being connected with your product also allows you to be even more connected with your customer, allowing you to answer questions and converse with ease. STEP #4: SET GOALS More than almost any other career, success in sales is dependent on YOU - your attitude, your effort, your ability, and your motivation. Setting goals for yourself gives you something to reach for, and adds another level of action to the rhythm of your work. It is important to continually challenge yourself, setting realistic goals that will push your performance to the next level. Try setting goals on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis - and as you keep track of your performance, take notes on what works and what doesn't! STEP #5: HAVE FUN!! As cliche as it sounds, your enjoyment of your job comes through to every customer you speak to. If you have a bad day, the customer feels that as well. So keep yourself energized, getting up and walking around, brainstorming creative ways to approach the same things, and getting connected with your customer and your product. Your attitude is everything - it will determine your energy, ability, and success. Following these steps and maintaining a good attitude will put you well on your way to being able to hone your sales skills and improve your performance. Your drive, your determination, and your connection to your customers will make all the difference in establishing you as a top seller. A career in sales is challenging and rewarding, giving you the power to make every sale a success, and even earn a six-figure salary in your first year - it's all up to you! About the author: Scott Deane is the Marketing Manager of meta-morphose international, a specialist graduate sales training agency. The company have graduate jobs in the UK and Internationally.