Friday, April 4, 2008

The Characteristics of a Great Sales Person

Selling is a profession and not simply a job. It takes time, dedication and commitment to be successful. However it is a profession which pays for the personal commitment of the sales person. Many people outside of the profession are astonished at the amount of time and preparation required to be a successful sales person. The image of the peddler pushing his or her wares is long gone. Today’s sales person is dedicated, educated, highly trained, technically savvy and committed to their profession.
Implications to the Sales Person
Realistically review the nine characteristics listed below and assess your skills and abilities accordingly. While there is no pass or fail in this test, it does serve as a benchmark as to where you want to be if you wish to be at the top of your profession. If you see a need for improvement, develop a mini-plan for each characteristic. Develop your goals, objectives and a timeline to develop the skill. Skill development will take a specific plan and commitment to achieve.
The Application
What makes a great sales person? Here are nine specific characteristics that define success in a very competitive profession.
1) Positive
Attitude is everything. In the face of rejection, failure and endless frustrations, a great sales person is able to keep everything in perspective. They do not take things personally and remain upbeat and positive.
2) Persuasive
A great sales person is able to use of his or her skills, experience and expertise to be persuasive, bring people around to his or her point of view and ultimately make the sale.
3) Patient
A great sales person understands that selling today takes an average of eight calls before a commitment is made. They persist and remain on track until the sale is consummated.
4) Precise
The great sales person doesn’t need puffery or exaggeration to make his or her point. They use the precise details of the products to clearly represent the features and benefits of their products.
5) Polite
The great sales person minds his or her manners. They remain cool, unemotional and professional throughout the sales process.
6) Planning
The great sales person understands the value of planning their time and sales strategies to achieve their goals and objectives.
7) Prepared
The great sales person is prepared for every sales call, focusing on a specific reason or purpose for that call. They are prepared to handle objections and take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves.
8) Punctual
The great sales person understands the value of time. They respect both the time of the prospect and their own time. They make sure they are on time for their appointments and if necessary call to reschedule if they are going to be late.
9) Practical
The great sales person is both practical and pragmatic. They understand failure and rejection are a part of the job. They are able to keep things in perspective and walk away from unprofitable situations.
Something to Think About
Great sales people are committed and purposeful. With that in mind consider the following points:
1. As you review the nine characteristics listed above, think of the various situations where one or more of these characteristics allowed you to make a sale. Explain.
2. What characteristics do you need to work on and polish? What is your plan to improve this skill? Explain.
-- By Timothy F. Bednarz, PhDTimothy F. Bednarz, PhD is the Principal Partner of the American Management Development Group
(Call Center Directory, 20 Oct 08)

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