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Are good salespeople born or made? It’s a question that every sales leader, hiring manager or prospective sales pro has asked themselves at one time. The nature versus nurture debate is one of the oldest in psychology and still rages on today. And when it comes to the qualities of a good salesperson, whether these traits are embedded since birth or something that can be honed is no simple question.
Let’s take a look at the qualities of a good salesperson and delve into whether each is something you are just born with or something you can hone.
There’s no doubt that a good salesperson needs to be likeable, to get along well with others and to have a skill for networking. Certainly, it is in some people’s nature to be personable and engaging while others find social interactions more difficult. The question is, if you are not a born charmer, can you develop this ability to succeed at sales? The answer is not cut and dry. For one thing, if you are somewhat introverted, there are lots of ways you can play up your strengths and develop skills to build relationships with customers. However, if you are someone who simply does not like person to person interactions, or have found from past experience that you find it difficult to get along well with others, then its unlikely you’ll be able to be able to change this much for a career in sales.
2. Great Listeners
Being a great listening is another quality that some people seem to have in a natural abundance. However, active listening is definitely a skill you can nurture and develop to achieve sales success. Whether or not you were born a great listener or need a little help in that department, here are 5 quick tips you can use to improve your listening skills starting today.
Research shows that sales reps who are conscientious and hold themselves accountable for their targets perform far better than those who don’t strongly believe that they should be held responsible. Conscientious people do well in sales because they have high standards, take pride in their work and are likely to be organized and highly efficient. So can these attributes be learned? In part yes. There are lots of tips you can follow to help you improve your time management and organization if those skills don’t come as second nature to you. When it comes to a sense of accountability, it all comes down to how much you want it and will require a shift in mindset if you want to succeed.
To succeed in sales you have to have a thick-skin and be persistent because even if you’ve done all the right prospect research, there are still going to be a lot of times when you hear the word: “NO”. If a good salesperson knows they have the right solution for a prospect’s needs, they are not going to give up. But this kind of resilience can definitely be honed. Again, it all comes down how much you want it, you can coach yourself to keep going if you want something badly enough. Plus there are lots of ways you can develop your objection handling skills. Persistence is definitely a trait you can nurture if you want to succeed in sales.
A good salesperson is highly resourceful with tonnes of initiative. As mentioned above, they don’t just give up when they hear “No;” they think on their feet, find a solution or adopt a creative approach. The ability to respond spontaneously would be difficult for a person who is not naturally resourceful. If you’re not a born creative thinker, then it’s not something you can easily nurture. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for you in sales. If you find it difficult to come up with solutions on the spot, you can use in depth prospect research to help you plan for objections in advance. Here are some common objections and solutions that you can use.
In summary, while there are definitely some qualities that a good salesperson is born with, there are also many ways to develop your skills to achieve success. Fundamentally, it all comes down to how much you want to succeed in sales. If you are not driven to succeed then no amount of nature or nurture will help you.
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