Five Essential Traits of Top Sales Professionals
“A sale is not something you pursue; it’s what happens to you while you are immersed in serving your customer.”
When considering what makes top sales professionals so great, you could look to their numbers, ask their sales manager, or even read the latest research. But when it comes down to the top sellers on your team, the customer is the best indicator of greatness, says writer Michele McGovern. That’s because the customer ultimately researches and compares salespeople. They decide who to buy and how much to spend.
When you know the traits that customers love about sales professionals, you can help your sales reps develop these traits. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we’re listing a few qualities that McGovern says buyers appreciate most from sellers.
They’re exceptional listeners.
Buyers love to work with sales professionals who actively listen to them. McGovern says that they view the best salespeople as part therapist (“I understand why you would feel that way”), part problem-solver (“I see the underlying issue”), part expert (“I’ve successfully dealt with this before”) and part helper (“I have the solution”). Ask clarifying questions and then truly listen. This will help you understand where your prospects are coming from and how you can help.
Buyers want to work with sales professionals who believe in the solution they’re selling. You can build more confidence by asking questions, studying and reading, says McGovern. Strive to be knowledgeable and poised, rather than brash and cocky.
Top sales professionals become so good at what they do because they sell on the premise of helping, says McGovern. They approach their work thinking there is always someone else they can help. They share their knowledge with their less-experienced team members, and they offer information to their prospects who may or may not buy from them. Always focus on helping rather than what you can gain from doing so.
Consistency is another key trait of top sales professionals. McGovern says top sellers actively and consistently set goals and then plan out how they’ll achieve those goals. They do the boring work that less successful sales reps do only sporadically. She says you can build more consistency by writing out the goals you want to accomplish and the tasks that will get you there.
Promotional products buyers are looking for creativity. They want to know not just what’s available, but what might be possible. Sales reps need creativity to work with different budgets and create solutions for different challenges. Remember that every meeting deck, conversation and presentation is unique to that prospect, says McGovern. Avoid a cookie-cutter approach and embrace creativity with each potential buyer.
Top sales professionals have strong numbers, but they also demonstrate the traits above. When you instill these qualities in your sales team, you help create more productive, skilled sales reps that buyers love to work with.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Michele McGovern is a veteran writer and editor who has authored white papers for upper-level execs and business news posts on topics such as employee morale, customer service, loyalty and sales.