10 Traits of a Successful Sales Professional
All companies look for great sales persons. A great sales person is defined as someone with a great attitude, of good moral standing, and can meet or exceed reasonable quotas.
Sadly, there are only a few sales person who are like that. Most of the people I encountered label sales persons as sleazy, which is unfair. If you are not sleazy, you cannot meet the quota.
But let us shatter that thought here in this post. Let us break down the traits on what will make you successful in sales.
1. First in the Office and the Last to Leave
Most salespeople want to be successful. But they aren't prepared to work hard to achieve it. A successful sales person doesn't wait for business to come to them. They go after it. They start to work earlier than others and stay later than anyone else - not to use the internet. Rather they stay at the office to make more calls, prospect more consistently, refine their presentation, and spend more time improving their sales skills.
One way to evaluate if you are a good sales person or on the path of becoming one is to ask yourself: are you a good networker? Do you go after referrals and connect with them? Are you willing to do what it takes to get the job done?
2. Sets Goals
A dependable sign of an average person is someone who relies on company quota as their sales goal. Sales professionals know that company quota is only for the average. They know what they want to accomplish and carefully plan how to do it.
It's easy to say you need to set goals and objectives to be successful. As a sales professional, you need to write down how many sales you plan to achieve within the next 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. You need to understand as well that close personal relationships will only result to 50% of the total sales. You cannot become complacent. You need a plan to achieve your sales goals.
Goal setting is easy. It is the execution of these goals that sets the successful sales person from the mediocre ones. The successful professional sets goals that are challenging yet achievable. It is also relevant to their situation, skills and timeline. A successful sales professional visualize success, determine an action plan and work towards their goals consistently.
3. Passionate about the Business
A successful sales professional is passionate about the product, the company and the industry. They know the ins and outs of the business. If they are not yet successful, they have a great chance at becoming successful. Their passion about the business exudes even to their prospects.
4. Exudes Enthusiasm
A successful sales professional can be detected by their mood. They are always in positive mood despite economic downturns, personal difficulties and other negative experiences. It does not mean that they are not affected by it. They are. However, they do not infect others with the negative emotion but instead influence others with positive energy. They are not caught up in office politics. Nor do they complain if they are not given all the tools they need to succeed in sales.
Attitude is everything in sales. Here's how to check if you exude enthusiasm: when you are in difficult situations, what do you tend to focus on? How do you overcome a difficult environment and turn it into something positive?
5. Asks the Right Questions
The best sales people ask questions that can determine the situation of the buyer. Probing questions that is comfortable to answer is a skill that can be learned. An effective sales professional knows that the most effective way to sell is to present their products and services that can solve the customer's lingering problems and achieve their goals.
The successful sales professional spend time in asking the right questions than presenting their products. This allows them to discuss the features and the benefits of the product that can adequately respond to the needs of their prospect.
If you have been training even for a few weeks in sales, you will know about what problems your product solves, how it solves, the alternatives, and pros and cons. You can start your probe from there so you can effectively uncover the concerns your customer has.
6. Looks for Ways to Finance the Transaction
Most of the time, client's money are allocated somewhere. It may be for a planned purchase, a vacation, a redesign - anything. This leaves you with a little leeway for the customer to consider your product or service. A successful sales professional helps the buyer look for ways to finance the transaction.
You can look on payment options. How will they pay? Can they pay in stages? Can you adjust reasonable payment terms?
In order for your customer to consider you and your products, they must first trust you and accept you as part of their buying decision. Helping them with financing as a solution will make them lean towards your company as the product provider. This in effect separates a customer sale from a customer experience.
7. Emphasize Value Instead of Price
Today's marketplace is more competitive than ever before. At the same time, many average sales professional believe that price is the only factor why customers buy. Successful sales professionals recognize that while price is a factor in a transaction, their is more weight in providing value instead of offering the lowest price. Well-informed buyers will base their decisions based on the value your product provides rather than the price. Great sales professionals recognize this and emphasize on the value proposition rather than the price. They know how to create and emphasize this value to this customer because they asked probing questions prior to asking for the sale.
8. Responsible for Results
A great sales professional don't blame anything outside of themselves such as the economy, the competition, or the company if they fail to meet their sales quota. Instead, they know that their actions along are responsible for their results. They have a way of focusing on the job at hand instead of diverting their attention to events and circumstances they can't control. While mediocre sales people get distracted from office politics and other events, successful professionals understand that their actions ultimately determines their paycheck.
9. Great at Follow-ups
Anybody who has been in sales for quite some time knows that you cannot always close on the first try. The best sales professionals are experts at this. More than anything else, they want to become the top of mind of their prospects.
They have great openers. Great openings are not the canned speeches. Great openings are personal. They emphasize the fact that you remember your prospect, you know about their concerns and their aspirations.
They also have at least 2 reasons for calling someone so they have something else to talk to when the main topic is not the concern anymore.
The best sales professionals are always on the lookout to keep their names in the prospect's mind so when they are ready to buy, they will remember the person who have been the most memorable.
10. Persistent Closer
The best sales professionals are persistent closers. Customers oftentimes reject them but they have a great attitude, good at follow-ups and does not give up easily.
Oftentimes, the barrier between a closed sale and an "almost sale" is the attitude of the person. The best ones have learned to face the obstacles, looked for creative solutions, refused to give up and did not let rejections crush their spirit. And this is what determines your level of success.
The best sales professionals have earned their way to become the best in their industry. It was not given to them. Sure, some have been trained earlier than others but sales is a learned skill.
There is a threshold that separates a mediocre and successful sales professional. And it is the 10 of the above. If you want to become one of these elites, read and study the traits - and be patient. You won't become successful in one sitting.
There will be mistakes and failures but as long as you play by this book, I can guarantee a fruitful sales career ahead.