What makes a good salesperson? One expert, John Graham, explains what’s worked time and time again for others.
A profile of sales behaviors
We all seem to think we know what it takes to be a top sales pro. “He’s a great closer.” “She won’t quit until she gets the appointment.” “He’s great at cold calling.” On and on it goes.
But there’s more to hiring the right salespeople than spotting traits like enthusiasm and persistence. What’s often missing in identifying sales excellence is a profile of behaviors that separate the average from the extraordinary salesperson.
Here are five of them:
- The salesperson who invests time in understanding customers rather than in simply “qualifying” them. This type of salesperson asks lots of questions to gain an in-depth understanding of the customer’s operation with the objective of uncovering what’s being done well and where there are unresolved problems.
- The salesperson who uses knowledge to attract customers. This type of salesperson recognizes that products and services change, as do customer needs. He or she builds a knowledge bond with customers that is based on bringing expertise, ability to analyze problems and to provide solutions to customer issues.
- The salesperson who stays close to customers because buying decisions take longer than ever. He or she knows that customers are unpredictable when making buying decisions. Many salespeople write off customers too soon and end up losing the business to a competitor.
- The salesperson who becomes one with customers. When talking about their customers, they unconsciously use “we” rather than “they.” Nothing is contrived. They so completely put themselves in the customer’s shoes, they become one with the customer.
- The salesperson who knows how to say no. There are some sales that shouldn’t be made, especially when it’s not in the best interest of the customers. The right salesperson walks away from those sales when it’s clear that what’s being sold won’t solve the customer’s problem.