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Attributes of successful sales people

April 2012

Have you ever experienced a situation where you thought you had struck a sales deal only to find out, too late, that a competitor had beaten you to the post?

To succeed in today's challenging, competitive environment, there are two basic, very fundamental rules for any successful salesperson: know your product and know your client.
A successful salesperson requires confidence in oneself and one’s product and clear goals and knowledge of products and goods one is selling. Only then can one inspire dedication and a customers’ willingness to buy from you.

A successful seller is a good networker. When he or she enters a room, one sees people who need to be connected with other people. The conversation is geared to finding out what people need and then determining if there is someone else who can provide it. If there is that person, so much the better.

A successful sales person is the one who is able to establish rapport with clients and potential clients whether in a room or individually. After all when clients recognise product knowledge, they will also recognise sincerity and become happy long term clients and eventual source of referrals. They'll avoid doing business with salespersons they consider insincere or uncaring.
Successful sales people know when to ask more questions, know when to listen, and know when to shut up. In other words, they know where they stand at all times in the selling process and respond accordingly

I firmly agree with advice from sales coaches who say there are at least six characteristics of successful sales people:

  • Constantly set higher goals;
  • Avoid comfort zones;
  • Driven by accomplishments, not money;
  • Solve problems rather than place blame;
  • Look at the worst possible scenarios and
  • Rehearses the future as they see it

Sincerity and a demonstrated recognition of a client’s needs and concerns, coupled with appropriate product knowledge, form a foundation for developing trust relationships with clients.

A salesperson must have a friendly disposition to make customers feel `kingly'. Anyone who does not like people is unlikely to excel in selling. A superior salesman knows that the customer has to want those goods and services before he or she buys or pays for them.
A good seller understands that a successful sales person has staying power, always enthusiastic, likes people and shows it; is positively aggressive though not overdoing it, is persistent as well as persuasive, is willing to work hard consistently, undertakes careful planning for presentations and is trustworthy, honest and has integrity.

A good seller believes in himself or herself. Unless you believe in yourself and what you do, you can’t expect others to believe in you. The successful salesperson has a healthy self-concept and knows how to move out of the comfort zone that keeps less successful people immobilised.

Is this easy to do? Of course not, otherwise everybody would do it. There are many different approaches to building conviction, but they all start with the individual self-belief. A winner will constantly take stock of one’s beliefs and expectations about themselves and their goods and services, their company and the industry in general.

Successful sellers always realize that selling time is a scarce resource and can't be wasted. They assess the best long and short term uses of their time, and rarely fail to meet personal and business priorities.

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