#1 A positive attitude. This quality is a must because sales folks get shot down – a lot, and they need to maintain through the losses. There are ebbs and flows in the sales cycles and leveling out these experiences is critical. If you get too high and then get too low, I’ve seen good people flame out. Therefore, the consistent positive attitude will help you persevere. Besides, the positivity is infectious and provides energy to your prospects.
#2 Ability to recognize and maintain the healthy contradiction of, “It’s all about you and it’s not about you.” It is about you – your training, positive attitude, knowing the craft, knowing the product, and the activity – it is all about you. But, the key is recognizing it’s also about the prospect and the process. It’s all about them. The more it’s about them, the more likely you will achieve. To get to the you – it must be about them. It’s a healthy contradiction the successful sales professional manages day to day.
#3 A commitment to the idea sales is a process. The process in terms of understanding your industry’s sales cycle, the process of entering all information into a sales CRM, and recognizing each sale requires stages is so important. Following the process is essential to success. Some business executives connect sales people to a personality type – that common comment, “Oh, you should be in sales,” just because you have a gift for verbal communication. Great sales people know it’s as much about “process” as “personality.”
#4 A willingness to fail. A great sales person is willing to fail – a lot. I compare it to baseball: the difference between a .250 hitter and .330 hitter who makes it into the Hall of Fame, is what? It’s roughly, one hit a week. Your willingness to strike out and get back into the batter’s box is critical. Because if you get thrown off track because of failure then the activity won’t occur that is necessary to succeed. If you’re not willing to fail and your ego is only stoked by winning, you’re in the wrong game. Ego is the demise of sales professionals.
#5 An athletic mindset. Success comes with the extra work – these additional reps made once the work day is over. How are you honing your craft? Are you practicing your approach? Are you listening to your sales calls and reviewing the script? Are you getting to know your prospects better? The extra reps you put in at day’s end aren’t the extra work…it is the effort you must embrace to even have a chance.
This has been my experience. I’d love to hear your perspective on what makes a successful sales person. Feel free to share them with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Best of luck to you – JP.