February 21st, 2014

The Six Critical Skills of Selling: Are They Relevant Today?


Richardson’s Six Critical Skills are invaluable at all levels of the sales organization, as they provide a consistent methodology for sales reps. The Six Critical Skills represent the heart of the Richardson sales framework and are the foundation of a client-focused sales process. They allow users to create the building blocks for engaging dialogue, understanding client needs, closing business, and building long-term relationships. The Six Critical Skills are:

  • Questioning – determine client needs and obtaining in-depth information.
  • Checking – keep the content interactive, and getting client feedback and input.
  • Listening – understand client issues, and incorporating client ideas and priorities into your story.
  • Presence – project confidence and creating a level of comfort with the client.
  • Relating – establish rapport and building relationships.
  • Positioning – tell your story from the client’s point of view, not yours.

In this video blog post, Andrea Grodnitzky, Senior Vice President, Global Performance Solutions, discusses the idea that the Six Critical Skills are more relevant than ever for the incoming generation of sales people.

If you can not see this video, please click here

Industry Specific Sales Training

Interested in learning more about Richardson’s industry specific sales training solutions? Click here to take a look at our February featured industry, Financial Services.


About The Author: Andrea R. Grodnitzky

As Richardson’s Chief Marketing Officer Andrea is responsible for leading Richardson’s marketing team in increasing brand awareness and relevance. She prioritizes understanding the buyer journey to ensure the company adds value to customers at each step along the way.As an executive sponsor, Andrea also frequently consults with clients on global, long-term solutions for multi-tiered audience levels. Because of this extensive, client-facing work, Andrea is one of Richardson’s key thought leaders in the area of sales performance improvement. Andrea frequently publishes white papers, blogs, and videos on various sales-related topics and speaks at client and industry events.

Andrea R. Grodnitzky

2 Responses to “The Six Critical Skills of Selling: Are They Relevant Today?”

  1. February 21, 2014 at 9:43 am, Becky Guillory said:

    Alll valid points but I somewhat disagree with the premise. I don’t think you selected the six most critical sales skills for selling today. Rather than relating and creating “rapport” most clients tell experts that they prefer a sales person with business and competitive acumen, that have accountability and that demonstrate they have researched and prepared for the sales calls. Customers also state that they feel that most sales managers are out of touch with what they want from their sales people.


  2. Mike Kunkle

    February 21, 2014 at 12:38 pm, Mike Kunkle (@Mike_Kunkle) said:

    Hey Becky, good to hear from you here!

    We see the same things and I believe we’re in complete alignment. These are the Six Critical Skills for *dialogue and communication* not the only things that are critical for sales today. Our Selling with Insights program is built around all the precepts you stated.

    Although, I will say, that this is a brief view into the power of dialogue. As you really dig deeper into the 6CS, some of the subsets are really important… the ability to hinge, preface, as well as position, for example, are key to avoiding the Arrogance Trap when selling with insight (that trap causes a lot of black eyes and bloody noses with inexperienced reps who think “challenging” is a good idea). So, even if you have business and competitive acumen, and researched as thoroughly as we suggest in our Sales Research Guide… but can’t communicate it effectively in a dialogue… you’re still dead in the water. That’s the point here.


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