Some people have a natural ability to sell while others struggle to make each sale. Regardless of being able to meet quota goals, there are some characteristics that make some salespeople stand apart from the rest (really! it’s not *just* about those numbers!).There’s no doubt that hitting those numbers for quota is crucial to keeping your job in sales, but often companies are looking for a lot more than just numbers.
Going from good to great as a salesperson is more than just hitting quota. Being a great sales person also has a lot to with your personal network that is built over the course of a career. Your reputation and your network will pay dividends for the rest of your life.
Below are some traits that will help you stand out from the rest of the crowd:
Listen. It is quite common for salespeople to be the loudest in the room. This is not a bad quality to have when you are cold-calling all day long and starting conversations with strangers. However, being loud doesn’t mean not listening. Listening to your prospective customer rather than trying to pitch them right away will help you uncover their “pain points” and allow you to offer them the best possible solution and position your product effectively. Listening also is a form of respect. It lets your prospective client know that you are more interested in helping them, rather than just hitting your number.
Being Direct— Being direct as a salesperson is crucial—being direct on what you can and cannot do for your customer. Answering questions in a timely manner to enable them to make decisions quickly. No one wants to sit through 3 meetings and 2 conference calls to then begin haggling price. Be up front with your client and expect the same from them so that no one’s time is wasted.
Personality— It seems like a no brainer, but if your daily job is interacting with people and forming relationships, it helps to have some personality. It’s important to develop hobbies and interests outside of work and to develop the ability to easily relate to and engage with others.
Empathy— Exceptional salespeople know when to “push” but are not pushy. They have empathy for their customers and can accept that the sale may not be a fit at this time. This empathy and understanding for the customer’s needs makes them feel they can trust you and puts them at ease. Leaving a good impression does not involve laying down intense pressure, it’s about understanding what the customer is looking for and making sure it aligns realistically with what you are selling.
Solutions Driven—The majority of sales people are numbers driven. But what sets exceptional sales people apart from their peers is that they are “solutions driven”. Exceptional salespeople have a firm belief in the product they are selling and the solution based impact it will have on their customers. In other words, they have passion for providing products that will simplify and ease the burden of their customers. It is for this reason many salespeople are very selective with companies when choosing their next move— they want a product they personally believe is an effective solution.