Selling is as much a skill as it is a talent, and that means you can sharpen up your abilities with the right guidance. Give these eight great selling tricks a try!

1) Don't waste time on weak prospects.

Veteran salespeople understand that they have limited amounts of time and a virtually endless supply of prospects. They know how to pick the handful of great ones out of the herd quickly and efficiently. Successful salespeople don't fight tooth and nail to earn every prospect's business; they weed out the weak prospects as quickly as possible.

2) Don't run yourself ragged trying to please everybody.

Sales in every industry largely fall in line with the well-understood 80/20 rule: 80 percent of a salesperson's commissions come from 20 percent of their clients. This is why it's okay to devote the lion's share of your attention to your most profitable clients. Smaller clients can be rolled down the food chain to be served by less-experienced salespeople; the best salespeople gravitate naturally to the best clients.

3) Anticipate your clients' needs.

A thorough understanding of clients in general and your clients, in particular, is essential to delivering a great customer experience. You need to know both your industry and your specific clients inside and out. Great salespeople stay multiple steps ahead of their clients, anticipating needs, sniffing out opportunities, and solving problems before the clients learn about them.

4) Manage expectations by under promising and over delivering.

There's a real value in keeping your client's expectations modest when you're building your relationship with them. That way, when you deliver your products or services, you stand a better chance of exceeding clients' expectations and impressing them with your abilities. Do this consistently and you'll create a die-hard client devoted exclusively to you. If you want some more good tips, then you can read them here on the Quintiles blog.

5) Let your customers be their own best salespeople.

The pushy high-pressure approach to sales is unpopular in every industry, and it's primarily the refuge of the desperate salesperson. Smart salespeople know that customers themselves are the most passionate and persuasive advocates for their products. They simply ask the right questions to steer customers into convincing themselves that the product is perfect for them.

6) Learn the individual customer's lingo.

How would you describe your products and services? Do you think they're great? More importantly, how do your customers describe them? When talking about the same product, different customers might praise it as fantastic, affordable, or efficient. In order to forge a closer bond with your customer, pay attention to the adjectives they use when describing products and services. Use the same terms and concepts in order to guide your buyer toward the ideal product.

7) Pay attention to seat height.

You've probably heard that great salespeople give themselves an edge when meeting with clients by manipulating the relative heights they and their customers are sitting at. Were you aware that this is actually an active and ongoing process? The best salespeople open negotiations sitting in a lower seat than their customers. The message here is that the customer is in charge of the meeting. Over time as negotiations continue, the salesperson will gradually adjust his or her seat in order to rise above the prospect and take control of the meeting. This subliminally prepares the customer to reach a favorable agreement. Even when seat height is not adjustable, good salespeople can achieve a similar effect by simply managing their posture.

8) Respect the power of "no."

Introductory sales courses overwhelmingly emphasize the importance of getting the customer to say "yes" over and over. In fact, confident and experienced salespeople bend the other way. They seek out "no"s. Too many "yes"es dilute the impact of the customer's decisions. In contrast, allowing the customer to turn down multiple unacceptable options makes them far more confident when they do say "yes." This is why good real estate agents "prime" their customers by taking them through bad houses before presenting their ideal choice.

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