What Makes a Good Salesperson?
Selling is a matter of persuading, convincing, or influencing. The dictionary says selling is the transfer of ideas or property to another for consideration.
Selling: a simple word that means so much. We all sell everyday. If a wife is hoping her husband will take her to dinner on Saturday night, she’s convincing him, persuading him and she’s selling him. If a child doesn’t want to clean his room the same applies when he’s trying to negotiate with his mother. We sell consciously and unconsciously.
Selling is a psychological game. In essence everyone wins. The customer wins because they get better products and services. The company wins because they have a deeper and more profitable relationship with the customer. You win because selling is a part of your job and should be done with pride and enthusiasm.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD SALESPERSON?
- A good salesperson has visions.
- They don’t just think about today or tomorrow but years ahead.
- They stay in contact with their customers, follow-up appropriately and as a result receive genuine referrals from satisfied customers who can see they go the extra mile.
- A good salesperson is confident. This is evidenced by their body language, posture, voice tones, product knowledge and simple self-respect.
- A good salesperson sees the big picture. They do not look for an individual product sale but a full relationship with the client. They see the client in a long-term vision and understand that the sale is never through.
- A good salesperson knows when to change direction. They realize that they make mistakes themselves or can misinterpret a customer’s desires. A good salesperson is always open to change and flexible with a desire to provide a benefit to their customer.
- A good salesperson points out problem areas and is ready to suggest solutions. They dig for ways to improve the total picture.
- A good salesperson has a great attitude! Your attitude shows in every single thing that you do. It determines your altitude; just how high you can go. Choose your attitude everyday and choose a good one. The most successful salesperson has a positive attitude and expects that the client will say YES.
- A good salesperson is accountable. They are accountable to themselves, their customer and their company.
All of these traits add up to trustworthiness. It is trust and mutual respect that are the foundation of building any long-term relationship.
BEST PRACTICES FOR SUCCESSFUL SALES PEOPLE
- Ask the right questions. Asking questions that develop rapport and determine needs is indeed a talent. They need to be open-ended in nature to encourage the client to give you expansive answers about themselves, their personal interests and needs. Your job is a simple one: listen. Listen intently for the clues that will either develop a relationship or identify products or services that can help them.
- Selling is leading. You are the professional and you are the leader. You lead by asking questions that direct the customer to their own decision to purchase your product or service. Leading them demonstrates confidence – shows clarity and vision and provides direction as to the next step.
- Be a consultant. Solving the customer’s problem is simply your job. Listen for the clues before you try and come up with the solution.
- Take notes. Taking notes during your meeting with a prospect helps you listen, shows your genuine interest in them and puts you in a position of authority. It encourages your prospect to open up and sends positive signals. Always start your interview with the question “Do you mind if I ask you a few questions so that I might be able to identify the best way to assist you? I’d like to take notes so that I can follow-up with you.”
- Ask for the next appointment while you’re on the first visit. This may sound odd but from the time you start working for the customer you should be positioning yourself for a future relationship. It is only through relationship building that we can truly be a professional and look towards all of the customer’s needs.
- Provide resources from other companies that will also help your customer. A true sales professional is well connected in their community and able to give numerous referrals of supporting resources that will help their customer. Please don’t think of this as a competition but a way of making you even more valuable to your customer. It also establishes an automatic referral base from them to you in the future.
- Be enthusiastic. If you believe in your product or service, they will too. Talk up your company and remember that there is a difference between enthusiasm and idle chatter. Your enthusiasm is based on your belief in your product or service.
- Create a plan with each new prospect. Create a customized written plan based on your notes from earlier meetings. The sale should never be through; we should always be positioning ourselves for the future.
- Give back. Give speeches and time to community and civic groups. Be a specialist in your field and offer to give back to the community that gives you so very much. The more you network, get your name out in the public and demonstrate by your actions that you are the consummate professional, the larger your business will grow.
- Be knowledgeable about your industry, your company and its competitors. How can you in good conscience recommend your product or service unless you know how it compares with the competition? Be a professional. Learn as much as you can. Read industry publications, trade journals, and newsletters. Every moment that you spend deepening the knowledge of your industry is an investment in your future.
- Keep your sense of humor. Selling can be a very challenging job. Every salesperson faces rejection every single day. When you keep a positive attitude and a good sense of humor and have the opportunity to laugh at everyday trials and tribulations you become a better salesperson. Lighten up… and remember that success couldn’t happen to a nicer person!
- The most important part of any business is the customer. People buy from people… people they like, trust, respect; no one buys from an enemy. Self-esteem is a quiet sense of self-respect and self-worth. You are feeling the self-worth impact on every part of your life including your ability to relate to your colleagues and your customers or clients.
- We have to continually demonstrate and display a constant, efficient, and concerned awareness of the customer’s needs – a willingness effectively communicated to help the customer be more successful.
- Learn to see obstacles as stepping-stones to success. Your most important goal is to satisfy the customer and your ATTITUDE will play a major role in developing this satisfaction. You are the company as far as the customer is concerned.
A UCLA study showed that 4 minutes is all you have to make an impression on another person. 7% of the impact comes from the words you say, 38% relates to your body language and 55% of the impact is related to the way you say your words or your voice tones. People will forget what you say and what you do but they will always remember how you made them feel.
There is little traffic on the extra mile! Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!!!
Lynn Giuliani is the owner and founder of Progressions Inc., a sales and leadership training and consulting company. She prides herself in developing programs specific to her customer’s needs. Lynn has over 25 years of experience in the sales arena. She provides one-on-one coaching and personal development workshops, classroom training, and keynote presentations.
For a program designed “just for you” contact Lynn at (360) 733-6557
PO Box 28172, Bellingham, WA 98228-0172