What Makes A Great Salesperson?
What sets apart a great salesperson from the average one? The energy and drive to create a sales pitch that turns even the coldest leads into a converted one. Read more to gain insights into what it means to be a successful salesman and modern roles similar to it in various industries.
A great salesperson is like a star athlete that pushes the company to the finish line—closing a deal. But there’s more to the job than generating more leads or giving an effective sales pitch.
Do you want to discover the secrets of being a great salesperson? Learn from what our partner entrepreneurs have to share.
Salesperson: What Is Your Job Description?
“A salesperson is essentially someone who is like the pusher man of the product. Someone who gets it out in front of people, exploits its benefits—makes sure to show those real good,” as defined by Heather Steppe, the founder and CMO of KC Hemp Co.
The setting can vary for the job. It can be done in a physical store, on an online platform, or through the phone.
5 Qualities of Great Salespeople
Remember that your company’s bottom line is at stake. That is why it is exceedingly important to find the right people with the winning traits. So here are the relevant characteristics that successful salespeople embody.
1. Great listener
As Lauren Conaway, founder and CEO of Innovate Her KC, pointed out, “I think a really great salesperson is one who listens to their customers first.”
Reflective listening enables you to ask thought-provoking questions. It also encourages your prospect to speak about their pain points openly. As you do so, it creates a comfortable environment that helps build rapport between you and the customer.
2. Problem solver
Create a sales pitch that specifically addresses a market dilemma. It’s a win for both sides when the interaction turns into a discussion of practical solutions.
“What it comes down to is somebody has a problem, and a salesperson is finding the solution to that problem,” explained Hernan Sias of Business Bro.
So put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers. Understand how to solve the problem at hand in their viewpoint.
3. Honest and trustworthy
In this digital age, salespeople should not underestimate the consumer’s know-how in checking the brand reputation and product specs. Thus, the most successful sales pitch entails honesty and integrity, along with other details.
This is shown in how the designer and CEO of Mixtape, Joel Johnson, casually mentioned that a great salesperson is, “Someone that can listen to the problem, listen to the objections, and answer those objections with truthful solutions that provide value for the potential customer.”
Don’t unnecessarily burn bridges by using dirty tricks to get a sale. Establish a connection of trust with your customer, so they become loyal brand followers.
A great salesperson knows how to think one step ahead of the game. By anticipating future problems, you can better prepare for your sales pitch and even upsell your goods. Matt Decoursey, CEO of Full Scale, considers himself a good salesperson because of this trait. “I try to identify and source other issues. Or things that could come up that the potential buyer has not considered,” he shared in this Startup Hustle TV episode.
5. Product champion
For anyone to believe in what you’re selling, you must believe in it first. When you’re confident in its benefits, you can easily convince your potential customers to buy it too.
“I’m passionate about our products and what they can do for people. Educating people on how they work and how they’re going to better their lives,” said Kyle Steppe, the founder and CEO of KC Hemp Co.
How Not to Be A Bad Salesperson in 4 Easy Steps
Making a living as a salesman can be challenging. But even if you’re in dire situations, you must never resolve to schemes and other dirty tricks. Moreover, if you want a refresher on how to avoid becoming one of the villainous salespeople, then consider the following advice.
1. Don’t be super pushy
“Trying to sell something to someone, that they don’t want it, and you’re trying to push it on them. To me, that just rubs me wrong,” said Erik Perkins, CEO of Perkins Builder Brothers.
It’s a common misconception that pushing the customer to buy the product always leads to a sale. But in reality, it only makes the prospect frustrated and creates a negative brand image. So get around the effective sales strategies but don’t push your customer into a corner.
2. Don’t sell unnecessary stuff
Aside from being unethical, selling unnecessary products will eventually give you a bad reputation. And that is something that you should avoid according to Andrew Morgans, CEO and founder of Marknology.
For instance, Andrew Morgans willingly let go of a project because his Amazon services are not necessarily a priority for the client’s growth. He shared, “I got fired but I kind of suggested it so that we can win in the future. That’s the kind of company I’m trying to be—honest, tell people how it is, tell them what they need to do to win.”
3. Don’t be lazy
“Getting to know them, creating relationships—not being able to do those things would definitely inhibit your ability to be a good salesperson,” said Heather Steppe.
Therefore you should not lose the drive to continuously reach out to people. You must always find opportunities to venture out and connect to prospective clients regularly. Don’t be a person who only contacts them when it’s time to make the pitch.
4. Don’t give up
It’s not always a sunny day when you’re in sales. Sometimes, you get into a slump of zero profit. But the important thing is that you get back to your horse every time you fall into the profitless pit.
According to Joel Johnson, not giving up is the best way to get over your barren days. “A lot of closed doors lately, so I need a win. I think the best way to do it is to get it in front of people,” he said. So he contacted potential partners for a Mixtape event, and it opened an opportunity for him.
A Salesperson in 3 Different Hats
Are you worried that you’re not a good salesman? There is no need to fret!
“I think the role and type of salespeople [have] changed a lot. I think it’s very different from the type of industry that you’re in,” said Matt Watson, the founder of Stackify, which was recently acquired by Netreo.
At times, it simply means taking other out-of-the-box steps to market your business. Circumstances change and you need to adapt to thrive. Just like these other kinds of being a salesperson are borne out of opportunity, strategy, and necessity.
Capitalize on the quality of your products and services. Create a better experience for your customers, which transforms them into word-of-mouth marketers.
Doing so will strengthen your reputation, generate more leads, and increase the bottom line without doing the sales pitch. That’s one of the Perkins Builder Brother’s sales strategies.
“I actually hate making sales,” Erik Perkins confessed. “I hate the sales pitch . . . our philosophy with our company anyway [is to] have a good enough product or good enough company to where you don’t make sales. Like the sales just make themselves.”
Here’s a familiar scenario for some business owners. You know the product like the back of your hand. But the problem is that you don’t know how to sell it to your customers. Well, if that’s the case for you too, take the backseat and become a sales engineer instead.
“A sales engineer is somebody who is an expert at the product that can work with the customer and the sales team to figure out how to best deploy the solution,” explained Matt Watson. “Figure out what the customer needs. Handle more technical parts of the sales process.”All you need is a sales team and a great sales leader to start the process. And you’re on your way to an efficient and effective process that converts leads into paying customers.
There are industries that need to “show” rather than sell, like nonprofit organizations. That is why, instead of being a salesperson, the team needs a cheerleader. A person that encourages the target audience to actively engage and participate in the organization’s programs.
“I’m not really great at asking for the sale. But what I am great at is exciting people and getting them invested,” said Lauren Conaway. And that’s exactly what a nonprofit organization needs to stay afloat amidst the challenges.
Learn more tricks on how to become a great salesperson today!
Some are born with the skills of a great salesperson. These people have the natural ability to build trust quickly and lead the customer into buying the product or service on the table.
But it doesn’t mean others can’t develop the right skillset too. At times, all it takes is courage and determination to take the first step into learning how to become one of the successful salespeople in the industry.
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