5 Characteristics of Successful Salespeople

successful salesperson

No matter how much advanced technology your company uses to facilitate and follow up on sales leads, no automated tool can replace a fantastic salesperson.

A skilled salesperson can elevate your company in a variety of ways.

Five Common Characteristics of Successful Salespeople:

  1. They know the customer.
    Perhaps the most important aspect of sales is to know your target customers and what they hope to accomplish. Once you’ve ascertained your customers’ needs and wants, you’ll better understand how to help them achieve their goals. You’ll also be able to assist them more efficiently.

    When successful salespeople go out of their way to truly understand each of their customers, those customers can see and feel it, and this trait winds up adding value to your sales proposition.

    A great way to get to know your potential customers is to take the time to understand their businesses, how they make money and who their competitors are. All these things will help you tailor your thinking and better understand the needs of your customers.
  2. They listen.
    Listening is an art. It must be learned, cultivated and practiced. All too often, salespeople are so driven to inform customers about their products and services that they often overlook crucial facts, such as said products or services not being the right fit.

    This approach is more often than not a waste of everyone’s time. Customers are most receptive to salespeople who have taken the time to truly understand their position, their company and their objectives.
    One way to convey to the customer that you understand him/her is through active listening. Active listening involves a focused process that is beneficial to any form of communication.
    First, pay attention to what the customer is saying. While doing this, be on the alert for essential facts, and listen for emotions as well.

    A successful salesperson goes a step further and repeats back to the customer what their wants or needs are to ensure everyone is pursuing the same goals. If you take the time to listen to customers—especially potential customers—you increase the likelihood of your success, as it allows you to efficiently tailor your sales approach.

    In addition, people in general like to be listened to, so when a salesperson takes the time to listen to a customer and truly grasp his or her needs, chances are the customer will be significantly more receptive to the sales presentation.
  3. Ask and listenAsk the Right Questions
    This goes hand in hand with listening and knowing the customer. Both of those techniques allow the salesperson to develop the appropriate questions for any potential customer. Asking the right questions can make or break a sale because often the customer may not fully understand how he/she can benefit from your product or service.

    A great way to show a potential client how your product or service can be indispensable is to convey a tailored and very specific solution to the customer’s apparent or expressed needs. This can be achieved by asking the right questions and combining the answers with knowledge of your product in order to present an efficient solution.
  4. Take Your Time
    When salespeople are calm and do not rush through their pitches, they exude a sense of confidence to potential clients. Confidence is appealing because it expresses that you know what you are doing, you possess experience and you will take good care of your clients.

    Essentially, taking your time puts potential clients at ease and suggests they can rely on you. Experienced and relaxed salespeople radiate confidence, and being in the presence of a confident person is reassuring, especially when dealing with the prospect of spending money.
  5. Focus
    An unfocused salesperson can be dizzying, overwhelming and off-putting—all the characteristics of a salesperson you don’t want to impart.

    By remaining focused, you project the ability to both organize and prioritize on behalf of your customer. You appear disciplined, goal-oriented and intelligent—all the aspect of a salesperson you do want to impart.

*Disclaimer*: Harvard Business Services, Inc. is neither a law firm nor an accounting firm and, even in cases where the author is an attorney, or a tax professional, nothing in this article constitutes legal or tax advice. This article provides general commentary on, and analysis of, the subject addressed. We strongly advise that you consult an attorney or tax professional to receive legal or tax guidance tailored to your specific circumstances. Any action taken or not taken based on this article is at your own risk. If an article cites or provides a link to third-party sources or websites, Harvard Business Services, Inc. is not responsible for and makes no representations regarding such source’s content or accuracy. Opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Harvard Business Services, Inc.

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