We all know it is hard out there right now. I have spent the past few weeks taking calls from salespeople who are more than a little discouraged, wondering what is going on. Everyone seems to be looking for answers as to why they aren’t making their numbers.
Some of them blame China, some blame Washington, some even blame their customers. You know what? Blame is a losers’ game. It is a complete waste of time. Worse than that it is an energy sapper and a confidence killer. If you find yourself stuck in a rut, looking for someone or something to blame, you’re just spinning your wheels. Or as my dear mother used to say about worry, “Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair rocking and wondering why you are not getting anywhere.
The best thing any of us can do is move…do something, anything, to move forward no matter how steep the hill is.
So, let’s go positive for a few minutes. Let’s just take a deep breath and think about the attributes you need to get you through these times.
Remember, sales is a dynamic and challenging profession that demands a unique set of skills and qualities. To be successful in sales you have to have confidence, and passion. You have to believe with all your heart that you are the best at what you do and be fully aware of the fact that your success is always, and I mean always, up to the person in the mirror.
To be a successful salesperson you need the following attributes and qualities:
- Resilience and persistence: Ours is a profession filled with rejection. You have to learn to roll with the “no’s” and handle the setbacks. Great salespeople view rejection as an opportunity to learn and improve rather than a sign of failure. Great salespeople are not discouraged by rejection but use it as motivation to keep moving forward. Great salespeople never fail because they never stop trying.
- Exceptional problem-solving skills: Sales often involves overcoming obstacles and solving complex problems. Great salespeople are adept problem solvers who can think on their feet. They find creative solutions to customer challenges and are resourceful in finding creative ways to meet their customers’ needs. They can adapt to changing circumstances and turn objections into opportunities.
- Strong emotional intelligence: Emotional intelligence is a critical attribute for successful salespeople. It enables them to connect with clients on a deeper level, understand their emotions, and build trust. Great salespeople are empathetic and can navigate challenging conversations with tact and sensitivity. They can also manage their emotions effectively, especially in high pressure situations. Great salespeople exemplify the statement, “Grace under Pressure.”
- Goal-Oriented mindset: The world’s greatest salespeople have a goal-oriented mindset. They set clear, ambitious goals for themselves and their sales targets. These goals serve as motivation and direction, driving them to perform at their best. They break down their goals into manageable steps and track their progress regularly. This goal-oriented approach keeps them focused and accountable for their results.
- Great salespeople are great communicators. Effective communication is a two-way street, and top salespeople know how to ask problem solving questions, offer solutions and build rapport and trust with their customers. They are articulate, persuasive, and able to convey complex information in a simple and compelling manner.
- They do not complain: Great salespeople play the cards they are dealt, as they are dealt. They understand and appreciate the parameters of the situation they are in. And they take a good and clear look at where they are and then decide on what they need to do to alleviate whatever situational challenges they are facing. They remain cool, calm, and collected at all times. They never panic, they never wig out. They just deal with it as it comes, no matter how bad it may seem.
- Extremely customer-centric: World-class salespeople put their customers’ needs above everything else. They take the time to understand their customers’ pain points, goals, and preferences. By putting the customer first, they build trust and establish long-lasting relationships. They are genuinely interested in helping their clients succeed and are not solely focused on making a sale. This customer-centric approach creates a loyal customer base and leads to repeat business and referrals.
Daring to be great in the world of sales requires a combination and attributes and habits that set top performers apart from the rest of the pack. Exceptional communication skills, resilience, customer-centricity, problem solving, and emotional intelligence are all qualities that make up a great salesperson. But the most important attribute of all is honesty. Plain old authentic honesty. If you are basically a good and honest person no matter what the circumstances, you will be a well regarded and trusted salesperson and in the end that is what makes a truly great salesperson. It’s only common sense.