What makes a good salesman? Does he have some special skills or techniques? Or maybe it’s his personality and innate qualities? Did he learn those or was born this way?
Simply put – how to be a good salesman?
Becoming a top salesperson is not easy. To find one is even harder. Usually, recruiters test candidates in all possible ways before deciding that he or she is the one.
Some employers intentionally get late to the interview or even miss it. They give a task to sell or present a product right here and right now. They reject a candidate to see his reaction or e-mail him indicating a wrong name. This is because a salesman encounters rejections from clients every day and the winner is the one who knows how to overcome them.
Generally, every recruiter has his approach to find what makes a good salesman. Some use the technique with an interview, some search for a person with discipline and teach them the rest of the skills, some look for charisma, intelligence, or drive.
So is there a special formula for finding a top salesman? There is. There’re qualities that each top salesperson shares. You should look for a mix of qualities and skills, a positive attitude towards non-stop learning, and constant growth.
In this blog post, I outlined several crucial points which you may want to take into consideration when hiring your next sales rep.
But before we start counting the qualities, let’s define the personality that should be represented by a good salesman – should he be an extrovert or introvert?
It’s widely accepted that the best salesmen are extroverts. They are friendly, easy-going, and open individuals who are known for their ability to find a common language with nearly anybody and to sell anything.
Very often, when hiring, recruiters will try to spot exactly an extrovert. However, people with such personalities are easily distracted and enjoy being the center of attention. Thus, they cannot listen, which is very important for sales.
Introverts, on the other hand, are deep thinkers. They are more focused and know how to listen.
So introverts or extroverts?
Neither of them. No extrovert nor introvert is the best salesperson but the one in between. Ambivert is a type of personality that combines both traits and makes a good salesman. He’s friendly, open-minded and he’ll listen to your clients.
Also, no person’s 100% introverted or extroverted. Therefore, when looking for a salesman don’t choose by type of personality as it can be misleading. Better focus on what qualities he or she has.
So let’s take a closer look at qualities that top salesmen have:
Table of contents:
Optimist takes over attention and interest in a prospect much faster and easier than a pessimist. No one likes pessimistic people, especially in sales. While on a phone it’s easy to hear if a person on the other side is smiling or not.
Though, it’s not only a smile on his face that makes a salesperson optimistic.
What an optimist does in case of rejection? That’s right, he doesn’t give up. In the face of a failure or objection, he tries to overcome it.
Persistence is a crucial quality in a sales world as rejection for a salesman is a usual thing. Thus, an optimistic person will use his intelligence and polite persistence to save a situation.
Rejection is a very real part of selling a product, especially when focusing on cold leads. A good salesperson isn’t easily discouraged and doesn’t take rejection on a personal level.
2. Ability to listen and empathize
A typical salesperson will mainly be talking, explaining his product, and providing reasons why it’s the best.
Not only speaking but also listening is what makes a good salesman. He’ll try to understand the real needs of a prospect, connect them to a product he sells and only then offer it. Here in the play comes empathy, the ability to listen more than talk, and support a customer in choosing the right solution for him.
The value of a loyal customer is much higher than a quick sale. Thus, it’s more important to figure out the concerns and issues of a prospect before offering your product.
Empathy helps a salesperson to study a prospect, show interest, and demonstrate why his product is a proper solution for him.
3. Responsibility and discipline
Responsibility and discipline help good salespeople do their job no matter what. At work, they work. Their thoughts are with clients, schedules, and effective tools.
Good salesmen are always ready for a call, demo, or a meeting with a client. They are responsible so they don’t look through materials minutes before the start but prepare way ahead.
They possess the discipline to follow up, make that call or send that email. Their job doesn’t end when the deal is closed. They keep working with a prospect once he becomes a client. They build a personal relationship with a client for him to become a loyal customer after.
What else makes a person responsible is his ability to recognize his mistakes and not blame other people. In case of a failure, he won’t be defensive accusing people and others, instead, he’ll be working on finding the way out.
4. Being smart active
If you keep asking me what makes a good salesman, my next answer will definitely include being smart active which means being effective.
They say that many closed deals are the most accurate indicator of salespeople being active at work. In this sense, activity is correlated with results. More e-mails mean more meetings, which lead to having more demos, which, in turn, bring more closed deals. But it’s not always an indicator of efficiency.
A smart thing to do is to invest more time in collecting information about your prospect. It’s always better to spend more time on one prospect, close the deal and get a loyal customer rather than shoot for many and get zero. It’s the quality over quantity rule.
Another thing to pay attention to is good salespeople use techniques that work. Once they managed to close a deal using a particular approach, they’ll try it again with another prospect. Of course, it’s important to take into account all the differences and stay flexible.
Finally being active doesn’t mean working non-stop 10 hours per day 6 days per week. Indeed! Smart salesmen plan their day, week, a month ahead. They work effectively, remember? They take breaks, rest, and don’t forget about their sleep.
5. Being eager to learn
Do you know what differentiates a top sales specialist from a regular one? They are non-stop learners, improvers and they constantly strive for growth. Good salespeople follow their favorite blogs, trends, recent news in sales and the world, read psychology, and learn how to automate tasks. They try to stay up to date on the news and be an all-around person. That’s why a top salesman can make a conversation with anybody.
Well, you probably know that knowledge is power. Top sales don’t simply know it, they follow this saying every day.
6. And one more quality of a top salesman
The last but not least, all top sales have that one quality, which is a synonym for charming, engaging, alluring, magnetic. This is a quality that makes a regular salesman become a great one. A top salesperson is always charismatic. He needs to attract attention, make people stop for a moment, and listen to him. No matter how cool your product is or what is that best offer you’ve got out there. If you’re unable to turn a person’s attention to hear about it in the first place. And charismatic salesman will do it with ease.
Wanna get a tangible example? Just watch some speech made by Jordan Belfort, he’s using this skill perfectly.
In addition, charismatic people are confident people. A salesperson with such a great attitude will be able to bring your product up from a pool of other attractive solutions, prices, and deals. And the reason is that he knows how to talk to a client.
Without a doubt, all sales managers want to find the best people to join their team. But sometimes it’s better to hire someone with a great attitude and then teach them sales. It’s important to give a chance to motivated, disciplined, and responsible people with a great attitude. Those who are eager to learn constantly, improve and develop new skills make top salespeople.
As soon as you come across the people who have all these features or the majority of them, you can do them a favor. Provide them with the best possible phone system, so they can take advantage of their natural abilities.
Every manager has his approach style towards choosing a good salesperson.
I wish you good luck in finding your own!