7 years ago
February 21, 2017

The Difference Between Good Sales People and Great Sales People

How can you tell the differences between good sales people and great sales people?

Claire McConnachie Recruiter
Claire McConnachie

The differences between good sales people and great sales people can be subtle. Stand a good sales person next to a great sales person and it might not be easy to tell who is who, but watch these sales professionals in action and it is not hard to tell which is the top performer. Good sales people can change this dynamic and become great sales people by enacting small changes, and sales managers can increase their hiring rate for great sales people by paying attention to these differences.

Great Sales People Sell on Ideas

Prospects do not buy because they become hooked by a product or service; they buy because of the idea of what it can do for them. Good sales people can sell an offering based on the value, but great sales people routinely sell the idea of what a product or service can accomplish from the prospect’s point of view and have a correspondingly higher rate of success.

Great Sales People Prioritize Prospects and Clients

A great sales person is well aware of where his or her commissions are coming from; those that contribute the largest share to a great sales person’s commission are prioritized. Good sales people may not have learned how to do this yet, and may be frustrated by attempts to treat all prospects and clients equally with the limited amount of time available every week. The key is to prioritize without burning bridges:

  • Great sales people build a client base by focusing on a select number of high quality prospects at a time.
  • Great sales people manage their time in flexible increments, such as 10 or 15 minute blocks, and leave spaces throughout the day for the unexpected.
  • Great sales people ask for assistance when needed, and don’t hesitate to delegate a smaller account to someone else if that is what is called for.

Great Sales People Aren’t Afraid to Drop Prospects

Great sales people know that not all prospects are created equally, and are willing to drop prospects in search of the few who are truly qualified and can make a difference for the quarter. Good sales people may not have the confidence to drop prospects, and as a result often spend time with less qualified prospects who will not ultimately buy when they could be pursuing the same prospects as great sales people.

Great Sales People Turn the Prospect into a Sales Person

All sales people are taught that a prospect must be persuaded to close a deal, but it is usually only the great sales people who have mastered the tactic of convincing prospects to sell themselves. This allows the prospect a degree of control that can be lacking in the traditional sales person-prospect relationship, and can lead to tremendous results. Great sales people help prospects sell themselves by:

  • Avoiding pressure tactics that lead many prospects to walk away in the early stages of a sale.
  • Asking leading questions that the prospect answers for him or herself that build to persuade the prospect to make a choice.
  • Letting the prospect speak for the majority of every interaction, only sharing thoughts and input when necessary – such as when a prospect is reaching for information on the product or service under discussion.

Great Sales People Find the Compromise and Increase Prospects’ Buying Power

Good sales people are aware that a prospect needs to feel good about a deal before that prospect will commit. If a deal does not fit, good sales people will leave the door open with a prospect for when the prospect may be more ready to buy. On the other hand, great sales people do not give up on a sale; once a deal has a certain momentum, a great sales person knows that there are ways to reach a compromise and find buying power for their prospects, ensuring that a deal will close.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter

Claire McConnachie

Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.