The Essential Untaught Unlearned Elements Of Sales

Published on October 18, 2023 by David Zhang

The Essential Untaught Unlearned Elements Of Sales

In the ever-evolving landscape of sales, there is a constant influx of strategies and methodologies preached as the be-all and end-all. But amid this perpetual chase for the new and improved, some elemental truths about sales endure. Often, these truths are neither taught in formal education nor learned in popular sales programs, yet they are instrumental to the success of any sales professional.

In this article, we'll explore the essential but frequently untaught and unlearned elements of sales that highly effective salespeople intuitively understand and leverage to excel in their field.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

At the heart of any sale is a transaction not merely of goods and services but of emotions and perceptions. The ability to read a prospect’s emotional undertones, understand their intrinsic motivators, and respond effectively is pivotal. Emotional intelligence facilitates deeper rapport-building, trust, and connection, elements often overlooked in the traditional sales playbook where the emphasis is placed on articulation and persistence. It’s the EQ-driven subtleties, for instance, the timing of when to pitch or when to listen, that are often decisive in closing deals.

The Power of Storytelling

Human beings are hardwired for stories. They are the threads that connect us to strangers, and they make facts and figures memorable. Effective salespeople know that selling isn’t just about presenting information — it’s about weaving that information into a narrative that resonates on a personal level. Sales training often overlooks the art of storytelling in favor of a focus on product features and benefits. However, the ability to transform product specifications into compelling stories can be what sets the exceptional salesperson apart from the average.

Seller Vulnerability

In sales, vulnerability is often equated with weakness - something to be avoided at all costs. This is a misconception. Displaying vulnerability, such as admitting when you don’t have an answer but promising to find out, can actually strengthen client relationships. It demonstrates humility and builds credibility. Clients appreciate transparency, and a salesperson who can engage genuinely, showing professionalism coupled with human authenticity, paves the way for a more honest and sustainable partnership.

Deep Listening

There's an old sales adage: "You have two ears and one mouth — use them in proportion." Yet, the skill of deep, active listening is rarely emphasized. Most sales training focuses on what to say and when to say it but pays little attention to listening. However, the most successful sales professionals are those who listen more than they speak. They utilize active listening to understand the nuances of their clients' needs, concerns, and desires, which allows for more precise and impactful solution framing.

Intellectual Curiosity

A lesser acknowledged yet critical element of a salesperson's arsenal is intellectual curiosity. The eagerness to go beyond superficial understanding and genuinely learn about a customer's business, industry, and even the challenges confronting the customer's customers can be game-changing. This authentic desire to learn not only aids in building rapport but also enables the salesperson to position their offer as truly aligned with the customer's interests and goals.

The Art of Patience

In an environment often characterized by aggressive targets and a race against time, patience is a virtue seldom fostered. Yet, sometimes, patience can be the most strategic approach. It allows for the development of a more meaningful connection with potential clients and avoids the high-pressure tactics that can lead to quick but ultimately hollow victories. Patience endows the sales process with the necessary time to understand and respond to complex customer needs, leading to more substantive and enduring outcomes.


Training modules and selling systems can imbue salespeople with a false sense of security - as if every selling situation can be conquered with a fixed set of rules. But sales environments are dynamic, with every client interaction presenting unique challenges. The ability to adapt one's approach in real-time, to be improvisational without losing the narrative thread, is a skill in itself. Adaptable salespeople can pivot their pitch, align with changing customer needs, and navigate unexpected objections fluidly.

Focus on Customer Success

Too often, sales is depicted as the pursuit of closing a deal at any cost – something antagonistic to the customer’s needs. Yet, the most effective salespeople understand that their true role is to be a catalyst for customer success. This paradigm shift - from salesperson to trusted advisor who is invested in the customer's outcomes - is the foundation of a consultative selling approach. It’s about framing every interaction and solution through the lens of how it enables the customer to succeed.


Lastly, resilience, though perhaps acknowledged, is rarely developed in a systematic way within sales programs. The sales profession is rife with rejection and setbacks. Learning to manage disappointment, to derive lessons from failure, and to rebound with undiminished enthusiasm and improved strategies is vital to long-term success. Resilient salespeople view each 'no' as a step closer to 'yes'.


As we have seen, many critical elements that contribute to sales success are often neither taught in traditional training programs nor methodically learned on the job. The most successful sales professionals are those who go beyond the script. They possess emotional intelligence, exercise patience, practice deep listening, maintain intellectual curiosity, embody adaptability, emphasize storytelling, display vulnerability, focus on customer success, and exhibit resilience. Recognizing and cultivating these skills can give any salesperson an edge in the complex world of selling, creating not just transactions, but relationships and value that endure.

In the realm of B2B sales, Aomni provides an intelligent platform that complements these untaught elements, enabling sales professionals to engage more deeply with their accounts, offer personalized insights, and succeed not by selling harder, but by selling smarter.

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