There are numerous skills and traits that help define successful salespeople. These traits are beneficial regardless of whether you sell tangible products, services or your ideas. Developing these skills will benefit every entrepreneur and business owner who must daily interact with others to transact business.
Consider the following as your personal assets inventory, each is well beyond any amount of monetary value, yet each is capable of assisting you in generating great financial returns.
1. Be sold on yourself.
You must believe in your gut that you are both worthy of success and capable of achieving it. You must believe that you offer unique and substantial value to others, confident of your worth in every transaction. You must confidently accept yourself as the most capable person in your field, able to offer your customers amazing value.
2. Develop and maintain a sales plan.
Just as you cannot hit a target you cannot see, you must have written goals and a plan to achieve them if you are to have any significant direction and success in your career. Once your plan is written, you can begin executing it. In a logical, step-by-step manner, you will achieve those goals and fulfill your plan. A plan gives you necessary direction to act upon.
3. Understand the value of a strong first impression.
Our customers begin to size us up within seconds of our first contact, whether you are calling on the phone or visiting them in person. You must impress them, convincing them that you alone offer the solutions they seek. You must instill a seed of faith so that they will trust you for a continuing relationship.
4. Pursue continuous learning and training.
If you want to earn more, then you have to learn more, first. Our world is changing so quickly, demanding that we stay current with our existing skills while concurrently developing new ones, allowing us to adapt to changing markets and requirements. Continuously learning new skills is critical to your success.
5. Become an effective communicator.
Communication begins with our first exposure. It involves not only our personal oratory skills, but even more importantly, our listening skills. We must develop the art of effective questioning. We must also become skilled at reading the body language of our prospects and customers.
6. Use time wisely. Become highly productive.
Many people tend to meander through their work day, floating from task to task or simply doing what comes along. This is not the schedule of a successful salesperson. You need to work your plan, scheduling appointments and complete planned tasks in a timely manner. Non-productive time during the work-day will cost you. Eliminate distractions. Focus and stay focused.
7. Realize that technology is a tool, not a crutch.
I enjoy using high-tech sales tools as much as anyone, but they do not define my presentation. Are you capable of delivering your sales presentation if your projector burns out or you experience other technological failures? If not, your tools have become a crutch. Remember, you are the presentation. It is your knowledge, skills and experience that will provide the solutions your customer needs.
8. Genuinely care about others.
People sense disconnect. We sense dishonesty. We sense insincerity. If your attitude is all about yourself, that selfishness will permeate the environment you work in. However, if your desire is to genuinely help others, your customers will sense that as well. You will be welcomed as the sort of person that they want to do business with. This is not something you can fake.
These are not the only effective habits of successful salespeople. Additional skills will develop and are built on the backbone of these core strengths. Being successful in your ability to influence others begins with your belief in yourself and the depth of your values.
Master these eight skills and you are well on your way to enjoying a successful sales career.