Secrets Of A Great Salesperson

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Do you and the members of your sales team possess the right qualities? Remember, most can be learned, so perhaps it's time to start practising that pitch. According to Clive Price hunger, sincerity and confidence matters in sales.


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One of the questions I get asked often is: what makes a top sales professional? During my time with BMW at the company's Centre for High Performance in the UK, our research revealed that top sales-people display five key qualities:

1) Achievement oriented

This is at the top of the list because without the hunger to go beyond normal expectations and achieve, a salesperson doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of getting anywhere. High-performance sales pro's confidently "drive' through obstacles towards success with energy and a can-do attitude. Can this competency be acquired? No, unfortunately, you either have it or you don't.

2) Concerned with impact

Personal appearance and the way you present yourself are very important.  Top salespeople are concerned with impact - sales pros dress to kill. Their opening pitches are practised, sincere and succinct. They mean business and don't waste time with small talk. Finding out how to satisfy their customers is their aim and they get on with the job. This is a competency that can be developed. Top sales professionals work to make a positive impact on customers and potential clients to achieve sales objectives and to build on brand values.

3) Self-confidence

Successful sales pros exude a positive attitude and "walk the talk'. They really enjoy selling and take full responsibility for their own actions. They can easily adapt their social style to suit the customer's style. Again, we believe this competency can be learned and developed if the desire is there. As a top sales professional you need the ability to understand your own strengths and weaknesses, work on them and see yourself as amongst the best. A high belief in your own abilities and an understanding of where you have gone wrong in the past will help you to modify your behaviour to achieve results.

4) Relationship focussed

All employees - not just your sales team - should be brand ambassadors. At the end of the day, people buy from people they trust and like. Top sales professionals have the ability to easily establish rapport with people at all levels (internal and external customers) in order to grow business.

5) Pro-active Sales

Pros don't wait for things to happen, they make things happen. This tenacity in all situations - without pestering the prospect - can be learned. Too many salespeople give up easily and assign blame or use the "rejection' excuse. Top sales professionals take responsibility for all aspects of the situation even beyond ordinary boundaries. They turn problems into opportunities.

Do you have these qualities and does your sales team display them as well? Remember, most can be learned, so perhaps it's time to start practising that pitch. Clive Price is MD of The Peer Group, a company that specialises in sales training and front-line excellence. Clive has a BA (Econ) from Wits University and a Post Graduate Degree in Learning Psychology from London University. Visit: www.peergroup.co.za.


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