In every industry and job position, there are some people who seem to excel more easily than others. This seems especially true of sales positions. The turnover rate among salespeople is over 34%, which is more than double the turnover rate across all industries. Everyone will naturally excel at different things, but what makes the best salespeople so good? And more importantly, what can you do to become a better salesperson? In this guide, we’ll determine what makes a good salesperson and give you tips for excelling in sales.
What Makes a Successful Salesperson?
In many cases, the right mindset is what makes a successful salesperson. A person’s approach to work is a determining factor in their professional success, which includes work methods, attitude and personality. There are four personality styles that salespeople tend to have — analytic, amiable, assertive and expressive. The most successful salespeople can draw on qualities from all four types to close a sale. Let’s break down each personality type to be more specific:
- Analytic: A salesperson with this personality type is formal, prepared, fact-driven and impersonal. This personality in sales is less likely to create relationships with customers and will instead ask several questions to get to the root of what goals the customer wants to accomplish and how they can assist them.
- Amiable: An amiable salesperson will likely be a good listener and ask the customer many questions because they’re looking to build strong personal customer relationships. This personality type is friendly, informal, patient and handles challenges well.
- Assertive: Instead of asking several questions like the previous personality types, assertive salespeople are more likely to speak in statements. They are competitive, decisive and goal-oriented, and they can be loud, controlling and impatient.
- Expressive: An expressive salesperson will likely speak in statements too, and they like to create strong personal relationships with customers. This personality style is persuasive, creative, loyal, enthusiastic, outgoing, intuitive and they like to please people.
Knowing which personality you lean toward as a salesperson can help you focus on using valuable qualities from different personalities. Cultivating qualities from each personality type can help you become a successful salesperson.
What Are the Characteristics of a Good Salesperson?
Being a salesperson requires a certain set of characteristics to be among the most successful. If you’re looking for ways to improve your sales techniques, cultivating these eight characteristics is an effective way to do so:
Empathy is one of the most important traits to have as a salesperson. An empathetic salesperson is able to feel what a customer feels and identify with them, making the customer feel respected. This allows the salesperson to establish rapport and gain the customer’s trust to show there’s no judgment. Reading the customer, demonstrating concern and showing interest in providing the customer a solution creates a connection, which helps the salesperson close the sale.
2. Active Listening
Active listening allows a salesperson to understand a customer’s pain points. Great salespeople will get a customer talking and ask provoking questions. While they listen, a salesperson will look for ways they can provide a solution to the customer’s problem. Listening to the customer’s concerns gives the salesperson the knowledge needed to align the customer’s needs with what they’re selling, giving them a better chance at closing a sale.
Confidence shows the customer you know what you’re talking about. A good salesperson will ensure they appear confident even if they don’t feel it. Speaking confidently about how your product will solve the customer’s problems helps the customer trust what you’re saying. Successful salespeople often use words like “absolutely” and “definitely” to sound more confident about their product or service.
The truth is, sales can be difficult. For some people, the risk of rejection is understandably scary. However, resilience sets the best salespeople apart from others. Great salespeople use rejection and failure as motivation. They are able to overcome obstacles, cope with difficulties and view rejection as a challenge for their next customer.
Good salespeople are honest about their products and company, even if it means losing a sale. A good salesperson will sell to customers they know will benefit from their products or services. Being unrealistic or making empty promises can burn bridges quickly. Successful salespeople are completely honest while making sales because they know customers can refer more customers, which is extremely valuable in the world of sales.
Persistence is a critical aspect of sales when done correctly. Consistent and respectful persistence will eventually lead to results. The best salespeople understand this, and instead of giving up after being rejected, they believe they can change the result with another attempt or by trying a different approach. Being persistent with a customer reminds them that you have a solution for their problem and gives them more than one chance to connect with you.
If a salesperson has persistence, they likely have patience as well. Nurturing a lead and closing sales can take a long time, especially if the salesperson has to be persistent with a customer and try multiple times. Patience is also required when speaking with customers. Trying to rush a sale can result in losing potential customers. The best salespeople take their time closing sales.
The best salesperson is focused on achieving their goals. Someone who is focused is self-motivated and demands more of themselves. They avoid distractions at work and understand what needs to be done in order to be successful. Focused salespeople have a purpose every day and focus on every aspect of their job. The ability to stay focused allows an effective salesperson to actively listen to the customer while staying fixed on the goal of selling a solution.
How Do I Become a Good Salesperson?
You don’t need to be born with these characteristics to be a successful salesperson. Working hard to develop these skills and traits will help you shape yourself into a good salesperson. Consider the following tips for sales techniques that can help boost your skills:
- Create and use customer personas.
- Know your product or service inside and out.
- Follow up with leads and prospects.
- Know when to walk away.
- Use an effective sales process.
- Be a team player.
- Know when to ask for help.
- Base your success on your customers’ success.
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