Ever Wondered What Makes A Great Salesperson?

Ever Wondered What Makes A Great Salesperson? Parallax Image

When it comes to sales, not everyone is a natural. Making a career from sales, just like any other niche, requires a unique skill-set. Being really good means possessing a number of personality and character traits integral to the DNA makeup of a great sales professional. Whether it’s cold calling, presenting, pitching, or closing the deal, selling is a lot more complex than many people imagine. Which might be why it’s thought that as many as 50% of the people in sales roles are in the wrong career, while another 20% should be selling something other than what they’re currently selling.

Here are what experts believe are the ten top habits, characteristics or traits that could indicate someone was born to sell:

They understand their customers

Arguably, one of the most important things when it comes to success in sales is understanding who your customers are, what they want and, most important of all, the problem they want you, the salesperson, to resolve. Product and price are secondary. It’s the unique needs of the customer that really matter. Which is why it’s vital that a salesperson needs to know how to build empathy, trust and rapport. Of course, that’s only the beginning, once a salesperson gets to know their customers better, they must also be able to those insights and information to deliver better solutions, ultimately, winning their trust, confidence and loyalty.

They have drive and resilience

Sales isn’t an easy job. These professionals are on the frontline, experiencing rejection and setbacks on a daily basis, perhaps after having worked for days, weeks or even months on a deal. The best salespeople understand this and won’t let setbacks faze or disappoint them. Instead, they’ll learn from those experiences. They’re already working towards the next campaign or sales target. And the very best will have contingency plans in place to drag something positive, no matter how small, from the jaws of defeat. Any sale that doesn’t’ go through is viewed as an investment in the next project.

They are confident, charismatic and always over-deliver

There’s an old adage that says ‘under-promise, over-deliver’. It doesn’t apply to the consummate sales professional. Their motto is ‘over-promise, over-deliver, over-achieve’. The best salespeople will have the confidence, drive and tenacity to go the extra mile for the customer, so they know that when they promise the moon, they can deliver the stars as a freebie. Doing that is what gives them real satisfaction, as well as the confidence and motivation to do it again and again. A little bit of arrogance is fine when you’re great at what you do.

They look beyond the sale

Closing the deal isn’t the end of the sales process for a great salesperson. For some it’s just the beginning of a journey, with that customer, or a pathway to something new and even better. That’s why the best salespeople will always focus on building relationships as much as converting sales. By building that relationship, they are more likely to get repeat sales and those all-important referrals. For them, it’s all about building a reputation for service and customer care.

They are always learning

As in any business, the sales sector is always evolving. A great salesperson will always be looking to develop their skills to deliver more for their customers and further their careers, as well as seeking out new technologies that can help them do what they do better. In sales, the best can turn challenges into opportunities, seeking out weaknesses in the competition that they can turn to their advantage. And when it comes to whatever it is they’re selling, they know that product or service inside out – because a great salesperson is also a great consultant.

They are great listeners

While it should go without saying that every sales pro should have exceptional interpersonal and communications skills, that doesn’t mean they should be constantly delivering a sales spiel. Real sales professionals are great listeners, asking questions first, then listening and processing responses rather than reading off a sales script. They’re measured and patient, using intuition, intelligence and experience to gauge customer needs and devise the most appropriate solution. It’s only by really listening that you can get to the root of the customers desires and expectations. Even if the customer isn’t quite sure what they want yet, it’s the role of the salesperson to unveil what that is and guide them in the right direction.

They can control their emotions

While it’s crucially important for a sales rep to be able to gauge, perceive and react appropriately to how a customer is feeling to generate the best outcome for both parties, it’s just as essential that they know how to control their own emotions. A true sales pro must never appear ruffled, frustrated, or let down. Instead, they know when to smile, to be respectful, attentive and positive. Where others might see an irritating problem, they see opportunity. One emotion they don’t need to control is their passion for what they do and whatever it is they’re selling. That should be clear to the customer from the outset.

A sales role isn’t for the faint-hearted. It takes drive, determination, intelligence, knowledge and enthusiasm, which is why identifying and recruiting the best people for the job is one of the most difficult things for a HR manager. But once you get a great salesperson on board, they can be worth more than their weight in gold, so make sure you keep them on your side – because you already have a good idea of what they can do working for the competition! 

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