What are the characteristics of highly successful Sales People?

If you’ve ever been involved with sales, then you know that it’s not for the faint of heart. Whether it’s selling a pair of shoes at a store, or a professional service, making that large sale depends on the appearance, knowledge and enthusiasm of the salesperson. Quite frankly, not all of us have those characteristics in us.

There is a saying that salespeople are born, not taught. Well, not exactly. Undoubtedly, there is natural talent.

A true salesperson has the following characteristics & mindset, that they use consistently to succeed in making those important sales that are high value and more complex in nature:

  1. They assume parity with their customers - Here is an imaginary hierarchy that average and poor-performing salespeople place between themselves and their prospects. It includes "The customer is always right" and "You're the customer so you're the boss." Top sales performers see themselves as problem-solvers worthy of equal respect with their customers.
  2. They are comfortable talking about money -  Some salespeople see money as a rare and precious thing to be horded or feared and have a discomfort when discussing large numbers. Individuals who look at money as a measure of value, not as a number outside of their personal grasp, typically do better in sales.
  3. They challenge the decision maker - The best sales people have a strong confidence in their understanding of the customer's market and their own solution, enough so that they are comfortable challenging inaccurate statements made by the customer.
  4. They are comfortable with silence - Confidence is demonstrated as much in silence as in what you say. Top salespeople can allow for measurable periods of silence in conversations with prospects. This creates an opportunity for the prospect to consider what has been said rather than having to process the next piece of data given by the sales rep.
  5. They show up well prepared -  This seems like common sense, but a statistical fact is that over 70%, are not well prepared for sales calls and meetings. They lack research, pre-call planning, a complete agenda agreed upon by the prospect, and a presentation tailored to the prospect. The best sales people have all of these things in place and they keep improving their sales process.
  6. They don't rush -  A sales person who performs actions with speed and fluster, will come across as under confident and not in control of their situation, compared to a sales person with a more calm and controlled approach.
  7. They ask great questions - Higher-performing sales people ask more questions and their questions are more focused on implications than on data. Put another way, they ask questions about what something means rather than just what it is.
  8. They are impeccable in following up- - Just like preparedness, this quality seems so simple but is often overlooked by poor performers. The best sales people cover all the details and have a proven follow up process in place.

Great salespeople are highly valuable to any business.  Along with processing the above characteristics, you will find they are generally high achievers, because that’s their foundation. They knock the ball out of the park in all areas of personal and business strength.

The key question being, are you capable of “Managing them”?


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