Updated: Feb 23
There have been rumors and assumptions around some of the traits that are expected from a salesperson. Just to mention one, we've been told that a salesperson needs to be aggressive. This isn't entirely true. In this blog, we outline some traits that you should cultivate in your team. These are traits that our team looks for and trains our sales candidates to have.
Great salespeople obtain valuable information from their customers by asking probing inquiries. They have a natural curiosity. This is because asking the correct inquisitive questions is the first step in determining a buyer's true needs.
Salespeople must be excellent at answering questions, but they must also know what questions to ask.
When it comes to prospecting, great salespeople are those who can delve deep. A large percentage of salespeople still only complete surface-level qualification and miss out on successful customer direction.
Great salespeople have no worries about asking for a sale.
They understand that going after anything with perseverance is the only way to get things done.
Rejection doesn't bother tenacious sales reps: No, that's just another door that's about to open.
Selling itself necessitates a great deal of perseverance. Reps face hurdles daily. What distinguishes exceptional salespeople from the rest is what they do when difficulties obstruct their progress.
This is the mindset of excellent salespeople. They understand that the only thing standing in their way of achievement is themselves; therefore, in times of adversity, they draw on their persistence. They are on the lookout for fresh solutions. They are adamant about not giving up. They are trailblazers in many respects, inventing new ways to deal with problems and looking for new methods to better old ones.
Self-awareness is the ability to recognize and understand oneself, as well as the reasons for one's behavior.
Salespeople that succeed are those that grasp this concept and are willing to adjust aspects of their personalities to get closer to their goals. This necessitates a significant bit of humility, something many salespeople and people in general lack.
Great salespeople demonstrate their self-awareness by constantly reminding and examining themselves.
Here's a list of things salespeople should remind themselves of all the time:
I don't know everything there is to know about my customer. There's probably more about them that I don't know than I do. That is something I should address.
I need to figure out where my customer is in the buying process so that I can be in sync with them. Once we're on the same page, and only then, should I try to sway their opinions.
Arrogant salespeople are disliked by all. I'm not going to act like one.
I'm going to stop acting as if I know everything there is to know about my customers' company problems and potential. I'll make an effort to be genuine in my assessment of what they're attempting to accomplish. I'm not going to lie to anyone.
I understand how I can assist my customers. I'm aware of the challenges that my company can solve, as well as the opportunities that we can help clients seize. First and foremost, I am a student of my customers' issues and opportunities, and second, I am a problem-solver and a creator of opportunities.
A great salesperson is unafraid to own his or her flaws. They actively seek out ways to expand their knowledge and have no qualms about asking for help. They are constantly striving to improve and become specialists to deliver greater value to the prospects they connect with
Fear of offending a prospect is a common issue for salespeople. It's a real concern and one that begs us to distinguish between aggressiveness and assertiveness.
Salespeople can use assertion to move a sales conversation forward without annoying the prospect. Aggression occurs when a sales representative ignores the prospect's concerns and interests, and the sales dialogue swiftly devolves into a struggle to complete a transaction without consideration for the buyer.
The line isn't clear, and many salespeople are cautious. They are frequently more concerned than is required.
Let's say you're on the phone with a prospect and there's some dead air.
Aggressive: This offer only applies if you buy right now.
Assertive: Could you give me a specific date I can call back for your final decision?
Yes, placing a little pressure on a prospect to get them over a hump is sometimes necessary–but the key is to make sure that the pressure is just right. Determining what is just enough is something that most salespeople learn via experience. It's a good start to be aware that this is a scenario to keep an eye on.
Empathetic salespeople understand how to adjust their behaviors, tone, and demeanor in response to a prospect's circumstances.
Great salespeople are excellent listeners and watchers. They don't make assumptions in their method; instead, they look for indicators as to how the consumer is feeling and put themselves in the shoes of the prospect.
An empathic salesperson isn't always a "selfless" salesperson; they're always thinking about the transaction. They are aware, however, that listening and comprehending the prospect puts them in the best position to deliver and add value. They develop a relationship with the prospect that goes beyond a single yes-or-no sales call in this way.
The finest salesmen have a hard-wired feature called goal orientation.
Any sales manager could identify the most goal-oriented salespeople on their team.
So, how does this present itself in day-to-day activities?
Top sales reps with this feature approach any sales work with a sense of urgency, sticking to the lane of discipline when it comes to "boring" tasks so they may focus on more important sales activities.
You can tell when a salesperson is unable to focus because they lack this trait. These salespeople have a poor work ethic: they get bored easily when establishing meetings, they constantly look for alternative ways to make money rather than putting up the effort to meet or surpass targets, and they connect with several chances but fail to close deals.
Salespeople who are goal-oriented approach tasks with an end goal in mind. They assess their techniques and tools regularly to evaluate what they need to close deals. They are aware of the link between productivity and sales. They don't rely on others to provide what they require. Instead, they are self-starters who look for answers within themselves before seeking help from others, knowing that everyone is striving to achieve their objectives.
It's critical to understand these attributes, whether you're a sales manager or a salesperson, so you can develop and sharpen them in yourself and your team. Soft skills are just as important in sales as remembering spiels and mastering product knowledge. Those who succeed in sales understand that being a great salesperson entails far more than just understanding how to seal a deal.
In case you are a sales manager and want to get salespeople trained in these skills, contact us and let's partner up.