What are the qualities of a great sales person?
I get asked this question all the time and have found that there are some consistent qualities of a great salesperson in the new rules of business and selling. I was part of a panel discussion a couple weeks ago where there were differing opinions on the qualities of a great sales person. One person was convinced that hunger was the magic ingredient. His salespeople were so persistent that they angered his clients and he got complaints about them. The close of the sale is only the beginning of the relationship. I believe it's important to start off on the right foot.
You must be able to:
1. Show them that you understand their needs or problems.
2. Communicate the value of your product or services to your prospect powerfully.
When you are able to do this, I have found that it is not necessary to call to the point of anger with your prospects.
There are new rules to selling which makes these qualities important in a great salesperson.
1. Ability to listen
The ability to listen and not pitch is critical in modern selling techniques. Prospects do not care about your business, how long you have been in business or any of the fancy widgets you think is important. A prospect wants to know that you understand their needs and their problems. I heard a quote once that perfectly explains my point which is, "Listen to understand, not to respond." You want to listen for information or clues the customer is telling us, anything from their successes and obstacles, to stories about their children or hobbies. All this will help with the selling process. You also want to be listening for emotional clues about how they feel about your product or service or any fears they may have with moving forward.
2. Ability to empathize
Along with the ability to listen to your prospects, you will also want to be able to empathize with their needs and problems. This means that you are able to put yourself in their shoes and see your product or service through their eyes. This will help you present your value proposition base upon what's important for them.
3. Have a strong desire to learn and be coachable
Some of the best sales people I have ever met are always ready to learn something new in sales and personal development. They understand that sales is always evolving and they want to improve their skills. They also do not take it personally when someone provides them with feedback or a better approach to their techniques. They are always open to new ideas, scripts and ways to improve their performance.
4. Have a positive attitude
Yes, we have all heard of this before. Now more than ever, this is critical. We all hear the media droning on and on about the problems in our economy. However business must go on! We cannot come to a standstill in our businesses because of these events. Let me put it this way too. Have you ever gotten a tele-marketing call from someone who sounds down and out? Does it inspire you to want to do business with that company? No. We must put our fears and problems aside to sound enthusiastic and energized. This will be attractive to your prospects and encourage them to want to build a relationship with you.
5. Care but not that much
Now this is the secret to my sales success. If someone does not want to do business with you or even continue the sales discussion, there is no reason to take that personal. Not everyone is my customer. My job is to continue my search to find those businesses who are the right customer. When I take this approach, it is never personal. Also, I want to spend my time with the prospects that have the greatest chance of becoming a customer. To do this, I need to quickly brush off any rejection and move on to the next great new prospect who could turn into my great new customer.
Whether you have a sales team or you are selling your own products or services, these are skills that most of us have or can easily learn to foster.
Selling can be fun and by utilizing the skills above, it can also be easy. Your success is our mission!