Tony Horwath: President, Founder & CEO, Sales Focus, Inc.
If you’ve been in sales for any amount of time, you know at least one super-salesperson, and probably more. They’re the ones who could charm the weapons from Attila the Hun, who bring sunshine out of snowstorms, calm wild animals with a single glance, and always – we mean always – close sales. They have that je ne sais quoi that sits just beyond the reach of description or understanding. Well, maybe.
If you want to know what makes certain salespeople really great, read on. Here, the super-salesperson is demystified as we delineate the traits common to the species. Go ahead: read on, and consider how many of these traits you display, and which you’d like to.
These characteristics can be found in many great salespeople:
- Charisma – If you aren’t likeable – and we mean quickly likeable – to prospects/clients, you’ll lose their attention and the sale.
- Motivation – Great salespeople don’t reach for the snooze alarm; they’re eager to get out there and sell!
- Persistence – You don’t take no for an answer when you know you can make life better for a prospect’s company.
- Patience – Not the same as persistence, patience means you know when the customer needs time to think and come around. You’re willing to wait for the sale.
- Assertiveness – Assertiveness isn’t being aggressive; rather, it’s confidently stating your point and being sure you’re heard.
- Resourcefulness – Innovation can make the difference in sales. If you can find a way to make your product or service invaluable to a prospect, you’ve made a sale.
- Resilience – Let’s face it: in sales, there will always be disappointments, from lost sales to lost clients. Those who see the losses as an opportunity to learn are the ones who will win in the end.
- Optimism – Keeping your chin up keeps you moving forward, and great salespeople always move forward.
- Perspective – People with the ability to see the big picture can strategize and plan more effectively than those who see only the trees and not the forest.
- Listening – When you use your ears more than your voice, you let the prospect tell you what their company needs. Once you know that, you’ll know how your product or service can become essential to them.
- Continuous improvement – In any profession, those who distinguish themselves are the ones who constantly find ways to become better, stronger, faster…
- Product knowledge – Whatever you’re selling, you have to know not only its strengths and advantages, but also its weaknesses and disadvantages. Know your product inside and out, and you’ll be better equipped to sell it.
- Customer focus – Truly great salespeople care about their clients’ happiness; they deliver what they promise (and often more), they make wrongs right, and they follow up.
Admittedly, not every salesperson perceived as “super” will have all of these traits, but if you look closely, they’ll have several of them. Do you? Do you see qualities here that you can develop to enhance your sales expertise? If you think you’re falling short, remember that sales isn’t so much about aptitude as it is attitude – so make yourself super!