First thing’s first
Have you ever noticed someone’s face light up when they’re talking about something that they’re passionate about? It could be the latest supercar, getting a personal best at a sporting event or just being proud of something that their child has achieved.
Now, think about when you’ve seen that same spark when someone talks about their business or something that their business does. It’s far rarer, isn’t it?
However, what your face conveys is really important in sales. Even when you’re selling over the phone where your prospect can’t see you. If you can look, sound and (in an ideal world) actually be passionate about your business’ product or service, this is going to be your main selling tool.
Top characteristics of a good sales person
We’ve established that being interested, enthusiastic and genuine is really important. Next, we’ll look at the qualities a person needs, to be a good sales person:
How do you handle pressure?
If you think you can do sales without experiencing pressure, you’re sadly mistaken. There will be pressure threefold – from yourself, to get the result (and often to get paid), from management, to hit targets and from whomever, it is you’re selling to – to promise something that can actually be delivered. There’s nothing slow and steady about sales, so if you don’t thrive on pushing yourself and you can’t handle being pushed now and then, you’ll struggle with being a good sales person.
Can you take a risk?
Speaking of pushing, in order to move prospects through your pipeline, you need to keep on at them to advance far enough to make a commitment. This could be providing information, setting up a meeting, or signing on the dotted line. If you’re not confident enough to encourage your prospect to keep moving towards a conversion, the chances are it’s never going to happen.
Similarly, when it comes to negotiation, do you know when to stop lowering your price? Standing firm can command more respect and also convey your product or service offering as being worth its value, so it doesn’t always pay to keep lowering your price. On the other hand, there is always going to be the risk of losing a prospect if you don’t allow any movement on price, so the secret to success is in balancing risk with reason.
Do you need recognition?
When you close a sale, convert a new client, upsell or anything else, you can’t expect a big pat on the back for it. No-one’s going to be too impressed that you sold something as a sales person – you’re doing your job. How you sell – whether it’s quickly, at a high value or in bulk, can be the differentiator in getting recognition or not – and even then, it’s not guaranteed.
Are you looking for 9-5?
You may have gathered by now that you’re probably going to have to go the extra mile to do a good job as a sales person. This will probably mean that when you’ve got a proposal to send to a client, waiting until the next day because it’s approaching 5pm, isn’t going to cut it – especially if you’ve got back to back meetings the following day.
Similarly, if you crave routine, you would probably hate sales. One day can be meetings, the other could be presentations, or writing up proposals. The next could be a mixture of all of these, with networking and client dinners thrown in. Very rarely will you find that any two days are the same.
Do you have off days?
When you’re in a bad mood, or something negative happens that’s beyond your control, does this ever affect your productivity or demeanour at work? In sales, you can’t afford to let your feelings or problems get in the way of being positive and upbeat, so if you’re not able to compartmentalise and wait until the drive home to relax, sigh or even have a good cry, you’ll struggle with the constant demands of the sales word.
How do you deal with ups and downs?
Speaking of being down – how would you feel if a prospect you’d been working on for months suddenly decided to review their budget or go with a competitor – stopping you short of closing your sale? Now imagine that this happens again and again and again. If you aren’t resilient to stay upbeat during the downs and to expect to not stay at the top of the game when you experience the ups, sales is going to be a very difficult game to play.
How to become a good sales person
If you’ve recognised that some of the areas mentioned above would be barriers to you being good at sales, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t do sales. Everything above can be taught, practised and improved upon, with the right training and guidance. Sales might seem stressful and scary to some people, but these people can often become fantastic, self-aware sales people, who actually find that they love the world of sales – once they’ve gotten to grips with working within it.
Sales management and training
Do you or people you work with lack confidence or technique when closing a deal? Or could the sales process be strengthened in your company? This is where Incite Consulting can help. We specialise in all forms of sales management and training, alongside business development as a whole. For advice about how to become, create, attract or retain great sales people, get in touch today.
Call: 07852 338281