What separates successful salespeople from everyone else? I believe that most successful salespeople, in virtually any industry, possess the following characteristics:
1. They are persistent. Selling or running a business
for a living requires a tremendous amount of persistence. Obstacles
loom in front of us on a regular basis. But it’s what you
do when faced with these barriers that will determine your level
I believe it was Brian Tracy who once said that people face the
most challenging obstacles just before they achieve their goals.
The most successful people in any industry have learned to face
the obstacles that get in their way. They look for new solutions.
They are tenacious. They refuse to give up.
2. Successful salespeople are avid goal setters.
They know what they want to accomplish and they plan their approaches.
They make sure their goals are specific, motivational, achievable
yet challenging, relevant to their personal situation and time-framed.
They visualize their targets, determine how they will achieve their
goals, and take action on a daily basis.
3. Great salespeople ask quality questions. The
best salespeople ask their clients and prospects plenty of quality
questions to fully determine their situations and buying needs.
They know that the most effective way to present their products
or services is to uncover their customers’ goals, objectives,
concerns and hesitations. This allows them to effectively discuss
the features and benefits of their products and services that most
relate to each customer.
4. Successful salespeople listen. Most salespeople
will ask a question then give their customers the answer, or continue
to talk afterwards, instead of waiting for their responses. Great
salespeople know that customers will tell them everything they need
to know if given the right opportunity. They ask questions and listen
carefully to the responses, often taking notes and summarizing their
understanding of the customers’ comments. They have learned
that silence is golden.
5. Successful salespeople are passionate. They
love their companies and they exude this pride when talking about
their products and services. The more passionate you are about your
career, the greater the chance you will succeed. The reason for
this is simple: when you love what you do you are going to put more
effort into your work.
When you are passionate about the products or services you sell,
your enthusiasm will shine brightly in every conversation. If you
aren’t genuinely excited about selling your particular product
or service, give serious consideration to making a change. You are
not doing yourself, your company or your customers any favors by
continuing to represent something you can’t get excited about.
6. Successful salespeople are enthusiastic. They
are always in a positive mood—even during difficult times—and
their enthusiasm is contagious. They seldom talk poorly of the company
or the business. When faced with unpleasant or negative situations,
they choose to focus on the positive elements instead of allowing
themselves to be dragged down.
7. Successful salespeople take responsibility for their
results. They do not blame internal problems, the economy,
tough competitors, or anything else if they fail to meet their sales
quotas. They know that their actions alone will determine their
results and they do what is necessary.
8. Successful salespeople work hard. Most people
want to be successful but they aren’t prepared to work hard
to achieve it. Sales superstars don’t wait for business to
come to them; they go after it. They usually start work earlier
than their coworkers and stay later than everyone else. They make
more calls, prospect more consistently, talk to more people and
give more sales presentations than their coworkers.
9. Successful salespeople keep in touch with their clients.
They know that constant contact helps keep clients so they use a
variety of approaches to accomplish this. They send thank-you, birthday
and anniversary cards. They make phone calls and schedule regular
“keep in touch” breakfast and lunch meetings. They send
articles of value to their customers and send an e-mail newsletter.
They are constantly on the lookout for new and creative ways to
keep their names in their customers’ minds.
10. Successful salespeople show value. Today’s
business world is more competitive than ever before and most salespeople
think that price is the only motivating buying factor. Successful
sales people recognize that price is a factor in every sale, but
it is seldom the primary reason someone chooses a particular product
They know that a well-informed buyer will usually base much of the
decision on the value proposition presented by the salesperson.
They know how to create this value with each customer, prospect
or buyer they encounter.
We all have what it takes to become successful. Are you ready to
make it happen?
Kelley Robertson, president of the Robertson Training Group, works
with businesses to help them increase sales and motivate employees
and has helped thousands of sales professionals and business people
improve their results. He also is the author of “Stop, Ask &
Listen—Proven Sales Techniques To Turn Browsers Into Buyers.”
Receive a free copy of “100 Ways to Increase Your Sales”
by subscribing to Robertson’s free sales and motivational newsletter
available at www.kelleyrobertson.com; (905) 633-7750.