In my work I often get asked “What makes a great salesperson?” “How long have you got?” is my usual reply, as the answer (despite what some may say) can never be summed up in one or two words or phrases.
The answer will of course depend entirely on the type of sales job and the industry sector, how long the sales cycle is and whether the salesperson focuses on new business or account management? Is it an internal or external sales role?
There are however lots of attributes and activities that are commonly seen in ‘diamond salespeople’ regardless of industry sector and job role. I have listed 15 points below and please feel free to add more in the comments section.
- They are a ‘sponge for learning’ – Not just in their niche market, but business in general. They take a keen interest in domestic & world politics and they know what’s going on across economic regions.
- They build networks – They know that the future of selling is all about ‘connectedness’ and so they consistently grow relevant contacts through ‘face to face’ and online interaction.
- They become a part of their clients’ team – The expert (in their area) that they ‘go to’ by default for input.
- They are positive thinkers – It is fact that positive thinking (when faced with a problem) yields more and better ideas than thinking negatively.
- They work strategically with clients not reactively – If you didn’t help scope that request for information (RFI) or request for proposal (RFP), you probably won’t win it!
- They reassess their top priorities at the end of each day – Ensuring they are always focused on key tasks.
- They never leave ‘key activities’ to the last minute – They know that something might crop up unexpectedly and ‘steal’ the time they set aside for them.
- They deliver on their promises – They know their sales job is not done until the client has implemented the product/solution AND realised the results that THEY promised.
- They know how to say “No” – Or they negotiate a ‘swap’ for something of an equal time/value commitment as to what is being asked of them.
- They are seen in ALL the right ‘business places’ – And they use social media to let people know where they are and why?
- They understand and are exponents of ‘social selling’ – They write blogs and are known as thought leaders in their area of expertise.
- They embrace change – They know that the ‘winners’ in the future of selling will be the salespeople most adaptable to change.
- They have a clearly defined set of goals – For the short, medium and long term. Their goals are challenging & motivational to them.
- They are great listeners – They can switch off that noise in their heads and DON’T even think of a reply until the client has completely finished.
- They are awesome at asking brilliant questions – To ensure they really understand what the client is both saying and meaning.
There you go, nothing too radical and a lot of common sense. Some of the points probably need their own blog to explain the why and the how? I have covered some subjects in previous blogs so please do check out my archive.
Thank you for reading.
Go and be that diamond!
Stuart Allen FCMI FInstSMM
The Sales Performance Company Limited