The high-level answer as you can't.
Sales encompasses many aspects and techniques that you can "learn" (as in being able to do rather than just knowing only through practice). When you are selling, the emotional/human factor influences every single aspect of a sale and therefore you need experience to find the best strategy but then be able to adapt tactics on the fly.
However, to give you something useful, you should pick one or two of the elements of sale, and read about them. Depending on your product/market/channel, you will be able to pick form different pools.
I personally like negotiation and price psychology.
Another great thing about sales is that it doesn't have to be about making an actual sale. You can abstract the teachings and apply them to everyday life with much more casual interaction you can use to practice.
Read lots of books on Sales, Listen to books in Transit.
Author: Brian tracy is good.
Here is a quick tip: That will get you off ground quickly.
First rule of Sales: its not about your product / service its about customer. Your prime objective is to understand customer and their problems / preferences related to problem you are solving or gain you are offering.
Second rule: Don't talk - 'ASK'. Take genuine interest in your customer and ask them questions about the problems they are facing or how they value gain you are offering.
Ask questions that will trigger the need for your product and service.
If you tell me more about your product in specific I can help you with developing a powerful pitch. You can schedule a call if you want more help.
Hope you find this useful anyway.
Good luck with Sales. :)
p.s: 7 years experience in hard core sales and Marketing agencies like Ogilvy.
I agree with the answer above.
There is actually an entire process of sales you can learn that is repeatable and you can use all the time. The other key thing is learning the buyers process, most buyers have a specific process they go through to make purchasing decisions.
Get out and sell.
Get in front of as many people as you possibly can as fast as you can.
Learn your own style. Build a strong value proposition. Discover what your market wants. Create a "funnel".
If you insist on reading - make sure that the method | process | system matches your values.
A great place to start is to study copywriting.
If you are interested in recommendations for where to find best-in-class materials to learn from give me a call.
1. Give yourself permission to suck.
2. Go out and sell.
3. Ask yourself what went wrong.
4. Most likely you can Google an answer, or find a book on the topic.
I think a fundamental question is are your trying to sell something specifically, or are you interested in selling as a career and trying to figure out how to go about doing so.
While I agree getting out there and just doing it can work, I think the basic elements of sales that can be learned in a short period of training (and cut down the learning curve) - when I first started selling it was Xerox's sales training, and there are many more options available today, but these course teach the fundamentals of sales, which are definitely a critical part to success in sales (ie - you have to ask for the order, listen for objections, learn to overcome them, etc).
There is another part of learning to sell that is not easy to learn, and my experience is some people have it and some don't, and if they don't you can't teach it. This is the way you intuitively listen and understand customer's needs, know when to ask questions, know when to shut up and listen, and when to close the deal. I have been out with many sales people over my career. Some are genius when it comes to these elements. Some can't figure them out after years of experience.
Good luck and if you want to talk more about this, let me know.
I often get asked this by CEO's ...Another angle is to not sell, but have conversations with potential customers - ask questions, qualify who has the problems that you can solve, be enthusiastic, and create conditions where a prospect wants to buy rather than selling to them. As the other responses above indicate, over time, one will acquire selling techniques, but they are not critical to close business. I wrote a brief post on this a while back:
Which kind of sales are you talking about would be my first question? If you have a great love for what your going to sell that would be a good start, if it's just to make a buck I could help you there to but then you would become good at it and be stuck the rest of your life doing something that gives you little satisfaction. So lets focus on what you would be willing to do for free you enjoy it so much? And then we can get you up to high speed quickly and you will have a fun time doing it.