It used to be said that great sales people are born not made. Any sales manager will tell you that this is not true. Many of the most important attributes of top sales performers can be learned. Some top sales performers may be naturally inclined to be great, but for most sales people, the attributes that you need to succeed can be learned.
- Top sales performers are assertive but not aggressive. Assertive people are confident and direct. Don’t confuse this with being aggressive. People respond positively to others who are assertive. Assertiveness means being decisive, confident and assured. Top sales performers are knowledgeable and always consider the needs and views of others. Aggressive people are demanding and overly forceful. They do not consider or even seem to care about the needs of others. Being assertive allows you to clearly state your feelings and opinions without stomping on the needs of others. Assertiveness shows conviction. These are the people who look you in the eye and make you feel comfortable. Aggressiveness shows disregard for others and is usually a turn off for customers.
- Top sales performers show empathy not apathy. Empathy is the ability to identify with others. As a sales professional, it is crucial for you to understand the needs and feelings of your clients. Through empathy, you gain trust and can easily build rapport with your customers. Top sales performers never appear judgmental. The customer feels important and heard and this makes them feel important. An empathetic sales person can adapt easily to customer moods and situations. Sales is a relational profession. The top sales performers know how to build relationships by working to understand their clients. An important part of empathy is listening. Top sales performers listen to what their clients need. They ask open-ended questions to learn as much as they can and they use this information to establish rapport and offer their client the best service possible. Apathetic sales people seem not to care about their clients. An apathetic sales person is disinterested in the need of the client and they are often viewed as only being there for the sale, with little regard for building a relationship with the customer.
- Top sales performers are focused and responsible. Focused sales people are driven. They are goal oriented and are able to clearly communicate their goals and objectives. They tend to be self-reliant and very disciplined. Being focused allows the sales professional to translate their goals into solutions for their customers. Part of being focused also means being responsible. Top sales performers do not look to place blame or look for excuses when they are met by obstacles. These sales professionals look at how to get things done and they don’t make excuses or get defensive. Focused and responsible top sales performers are always learning. They review past problems, learn from them, and use the information to avoid making new mistakes.
As a sales professional, you need to learn and put into practice the attributes that will put you in the ranks of top sales performers. You need to be assertive without being aggressive. You need to always show an interest in your client and concentrate on building relationships. Additionally, to become top sales performers, sales professionals need to always maintain focus and accept responsibility. All of these traits are easily learned and should become your personal attributes.