Over the years I have had the opportunity to work with and observe many different types sales people, some good, some great and some who should never have chosen sales as their career!
As a practitioner of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) we often talk about and practice modelling the behaviours of others who are successful in their fields as a way of quickly developing our own skill set and great sales professionals are no exception.
Here are five traits great sales people exhibit
1. Albert Einstein once said, “I have no special talents I am only passionately curious” and being curious is a trait that all sales people should develop in them. Curious sales professionals keep exploring and master the art of asking great questions partly because of this. They learn quickly that the better the quality of the question they ask the better the quality of information they will get as an answer. This proves invaluable in helping them to pinpoint and recommend the best solutions for their clients.
2. Listening skills - Having recently been in Thailand I visited the famous Tiger Kingdom in Chang Mai. Tigers are known for their superior hunting abilities and part of this is their acute hearing abilities. They can hear tiny movements that would escape the human field of hearing completely and are always alert and actively listening to the world around them. Great sales people also need to be great listeners in order to survive and thrive in their field and a signal missed is often a sale lost.
3. Research - I never fail to be surprised by how often this has tripped a sales person up. Many is the time where lack of research has left them with egg all over their face due to not having prepared and researched properly. As a result of being curious great sales professionals devote time to building their knowledge about their clients and their competitors. They set aside time each week to peruse the trade magazines, read the financial dailies, look at the markets and in short do their homework on what is happening within their sector. They know that this adds to their credibility and positions them more effectively as trusted advisors.
4. Add value - Thinking about the bigger picture serves successful people well. Just as they ask great questions to extrapolate quality information when discovering client needs they are experts at asking themselves questions, which prompt them to think more creatively about how they can offer better service or create a better experience for their clients. An average sales person might ask 'How can make my target this month?' Great sales people will ask themselves 'How can I add more value?' Thinking in terms of adding value stimulates the mind to think much more strategically about a subject and opens it up to more innovative thinking which in turn leads to better solutions.
5. Benefits rule - Great sales professionals don’t prioritise the sale of features when they recommend a solution to a client because they know that the benefits the client will experience are far more important to showcase. Features are all about the sales person and their product but benefits are always about the client and they are always linked ultimately to the emotion or state having the product will produce.