Great salespeople aren’t born. They’re made.
Contrary to popular belief, there’s no such thing as the “natural salesperson.” Yes, it’s true that some people naturally have personality traits that make it easier for them to sell. But even these lucky people have to learn how to be better influencers. They work hard to hone their sales skills. They learn through experience and practice. Just like any other professional.
In order to be successful, entrepreneurs have to learn how to sell effectively. If they don’t, it becomes almost impossible to succeed. Here’s the good news: Anyone can learn how to sell. I learned. So can you.
When I first started learning how to sell, I was excited. I loved the idea of getting people to buy from me. Since I was good at dealing with people, I figured it’d be easy for me. I was both right and wrong. Yes, I knew how to talk to people I knew how to get them to like me. It helped, but it wasn’t enough. I could get some business, but not as much as I wanted.
So I ended up going through sales training. I learned quite a bit. I worked hard to master the sales techniques I learned. It made me better. Again, it helped, but it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t as good as I wanted to be.
Through my experience, I learned that there are certain qualities that make a person a great salesperson. I found that these are qualities that I needed to possess in order to become the type of influencer I wanted to be.
When I started to adopt these qualities, I found that they shaped the way I used the sales techniques I had learned. I saw that I could use what I learned to have a positive impact on my prospects. Below are the qualities that can make you a great at selling.
How to Become Great at Selling
Trait #1: Mental Toughness
“The way you think when you lose will determine how long it will be before you win.” – GK Chesterton
Let’s face it, selling is not for the faint of heart. You have to be mentally tough to be an effective persuader.
Selling involves rejection. Lots of it. Even the greatest salespeople in the world get rejected. A lot. It’s unavoidable. If you’re not mentally tough, rejection can erode your self confidence until you feel like giving up. It can be pretty discouraging. To make matters worse, the discouragement you feel because of the rejection can carry over to the next sales call.
This makes it harder to keep the same level of enthusiasm, which makes it more likely that you will get rejected again. It’s like a vicious cycle.
The difference between a great salesperson and a not-so-great salesperson is how they view rejection. Great salespeople see rejection as an opportunity to improve. They can learn from the mistakes they made on the sales call and adjust their approach accordingly.
In this way, a great salesperson can turn a rejection into a tool that can be used to earn more business on her next sales call. Being mentally tough is the only way you can handle consistent rejection without missing a beat. If you want to be a great persuader, you better become tougher.
Trait #2: Genuine Concern For The Prospect
“Stop selling. Start helping.” – Zig Ziglar
Yes, I know it sounds nice and fuzzy, but a great influencer actually cares about the people they seek to influence. They desire deeply to bring a lasting benefit to the lives of the people they wish to persuade.The same is true when you’re trying to convince prospects to buy your offering.
Great salespeople want to see their prospects get what they want. This means they present only the solutions that fit the prospect’s needs and wants. They won’t try to push potential customers into buying things they don’t need.
When you approach your sales calls in a way that is focused on helping the prospect solve their problems, you gain a greater level of trust. It enables your prospects to connect to you on a deeper level. You have to show your prospects that you view them as more than just a paycheck. You must have a genuine desire to see your prospect get what they want. If your prospect believes you are only trying to get their money, they will be much less likely to listen to what you have to say.
Start finding ways to help your prospects. Even if the help you’re giving them doesn’t involve your product or service. Give value beyond what you sell. When you do this, you become more valuable to your prospect.
The more valuable you are to your prospects and customers, the more likely it is that they will continue to do business with you. The amount of influence you have over a prospect is directly tied to how much of a benefit you are to them. Find ways to offer more value.
Trait #3: Patience
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. – Beverly Sills
This might be a surprise, but I’ve found that patience is a key trait to have in order to be great at sales. I know it goes against how most people view salespeople, but it’s true.
Great salespeople are patient with their prospects. Instead of shoving their offering down their prospect’s throat, they take the time to get to know them. They focus on understanding what their customer’s true needs are.
Being pushy and aggressive has become a thing of the past in most cases. People just don’t want to deal with high-pressure sales tactics.
I can’t blame them.
I’ve found that taking the time to make sure my prospects are comfortable with buying from me creates a better experience for both the customer and myself. That’s exactly how great salespeople want their clients to feel
Before presenting your solution to your prospect, take the time to get to know them. Ask questions. Build rapport.
Make the interaction as human as possible.
The more your prospects feel connected to you, the more likely they are to buy your product or service. You must focus on building the relationship. It may take a little longer, but in the end, it’ll be worth it.
Trait #4: A Sense Of Purpose
“People don’t buy WHAT you do. They buy WHY you do it.” – Simon Sinek
This is incredibly important. If you don’t have a sense of purpose in what you’re doing, you won’t be able to persuade others that your product or service is worth buying. You have to believe in what you’re selling.
It’s about branding.
An attractive brand purpose helps you stand out from your competition. It gives your prospects a more “human” face to connect to.
With so many brands to choose from, your prospects have many potential choices to make. By identifying and expressing a purpose that people can buy into, you become more relatable.
Why do you do what you do?
What do you believe about the world your company occupies? What problems are you trying to solve? What kind of impact do you want to make on the world and the people in it?
These are the types of questions you must answer if you’re going to persuade prospects to become paying customers. A strong sense of purpose will enable you to sell with conviction. This is something that makes great salespeople far more influential than those without the conviction of their purpose.
Trait #5: They Serve
“Make a customer, not a sale.” – Katherine Barchetti
A great salesperson is there to meet their prospects’ needs. After the sale, they don’t just move on to the next prospect. They understand the importance of continuing to give value. They focus on building relationships.
The customers of great salespeople know that they are in good hands. They are confident in the fact that they are going to be taken care of.
Great salespeople work hard to make clients are happy. This is what keeps their clients coming back for more.
Because of this, these salespeople are able to turn their clients into evangelists who sing their praises to others. Also, they don’t have to worry as much about the competition. They have cemented their place as their clients’ resource.
If you want to be great at selling, you have to serve. You have to do everything in your power to give a wonderful experience for your customers. In each interaction with your customers, try to make as big an impact as possible by giving them as much value as you can.
Exceed their expectations whenever possible. Give them unexpected benefits every now and then. When your clients feel they are truly being taken care of, they will remain loyal to your brand.
If you want to become great at selling, you must have these traits. It takes time. But when you have these traits, you will find it easier to attract and keep clients.
Become mentally tougher. Genuinely care about the success of your prospect. Don’t rush through your sales process. Find your sense of purpose. And finally, serve your newly-earned customers.
Becoming great at selling will also help you become a great entrepreneur. Not only that, it will help you make a greater impact in the lives of others.
Salesperson Photo via Shutterstock