Sales professionals are largely the public face of a company or organizations and people judge the company by seeing the sales personnel. They need to have the right personality traits, the correct mental make-up and attitude to be successful and help their company or division do better.
Some of the most important qualities in a sales professional include:
# 1. Excellent people skills
The most important quality to become a successful sales professional is to have the knack of establishing a good rapport with others. People skills are the only way a sales person can relate to a potential customer and hold his attention long enough to get the sale. Customers will buy only if they are able to warm up to the sales man, trust him and feel he is being honest with them. Sales men have to establish trust while being professional and polite. It is important not to push, persuade beyond a point or be aggressive.
# 2. Good Behavior and Positive Demeanor
Customers warm up to sales people who display proper behavior like being cordial, polite, humorous without being overly so,disciplined and so on. Some of the traits that they need to display are:
# 3. Positive attitude
A positive mental attitude can spur sales due to the commitment, discipline and encouragement it brings. Being positive means not being pulled down by a bad day, less sales or negative feedback, but instead makes the sales man think, feel and behave in a positive manner. Positivism becomes a way of life that stays beyond work hours and helps tremendously.
# 5. Humor
It’s not the ability to laugh but an attitude to see the brighter and lighter side of things, and a precursor for a successful working career. Humor is about being able to give others a reason to smile, be less serious and reserved and bring a ‘feel good’ feeling when other come in contact. It is an innate instinct and makes others want to talk to you rather than avoid coming in contact, which they may, with a glum person.
# 6. Action orientation
This becomes important for sales people to actually perform according to what you profess, with a set of clear cut goals and targets which as a sales person you are driven to achieve. Thus an action oriented sales man will have his tasks for the day ready before hand, follow his plan, work to achieve his targets, and pursue success through hard work.
# 7. Self discipline
It’s about following and pursuing goals seriously with focus and irrespective of personal feelings and other issues. Not going astray or adopting a lackadaisical approach are all manifestations of self discipline.
# 8. Following the formula of success
This is not being bogged down by failures but using each failed attempt as a stepping stone to success.
# 9. The right body language is important
The body language of the sales person reflects his character and personality, which must appeal to a potential customer rather than put him off. Being confident and self assured sends the right signals and the customer feels, here is a salesman who knows his work and his product and looks upon him not with hostility but with an inclination to hear him out.
- Establishing eye contact,
- a smiling face,
- friendly nature,
- patient listening skills,
- being respectful and showing genuine interest,
all add up in the right body language. Taking notes, being sullen and only inclined to be heard rather than listening himself, are all indicative of a poor salesman since his body language is not right.
10. Being alert to collect information
This is crucial for a salesman since companies form policies and adopt strategies based on the information gathered by them. Thus they have to gather information on the following:
i) The process of buying and the people who make decisions
ii) The need for quick action and decision making time frames
iii) Budgetary constraints and funds available
iv) Buying criterion of customers and objectives
v) Current competition from other supplier
# 11. Conduct thorough research about the market and the competitors
This helps in being prepared to meet challenges with a ready action plan and correct measures to avoid a dip in sales or any reflection of poor performance. It is a good idea to consider performing a SWOT analysis of potential competition and evolving proper strategies to meet it head-on.
# 12. Limiting damages
This becomes important to ensure that clients’ needs are met and common goals are kept in mind, even if it means taking harsh steps.
# 13. Smart Goals
Every salesman needs to have smart goals in front of him. These include:
- Specific and clear cut
- Measurable and defined
- Agreed and adjusted according to company requirements
- Realistic rather than unattainable
- Time frame kept in mind
Related: Successful Goal Setting
# 14. Every little action counts
Every action of the sales person counts to help or damage the company’s performance. His single minded focus has to be to define his minimum daily targets, adopting the Winning Edge strategy and pushing himself for one extra call, one last attempt, and one more task before calling it a day. While it may not show immediate results, it will add up and bear fruit over time. Failing to plan will mean the salesman is planning to fail.
These few tips will help sales professionals rediscover themselves and find where they are lacking, and changing themselves will change the results of the company they work for.
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