As the world moved from 'Trusted Advisors' to 'Strategic Partners', the essential skills needed to fully understand your clients, their business and their objectives are fundamental selling skills.  

Yes, sales is seen as a dirty word, however putting the needs and interests of current and potential clients at the heart of your own strategy are among the essential skills used to build meaningful, and lasting relationships based on mutual understanding, trust and integrity.  

If you don't like the word, don't use it, but knowing, and deploying the skills used by successful people in everyday life will have significant and positive impacts at every level.