How many conferences have you attended where for every impressive speaker there are three others that are not so great? Unfortunately, many are having the same experience with salespeople. For every excellent performer there are a couple of others that are missing the mark. This affects everyone’s bottom line as it impacts the overall business as well as the individual’s earning potential. So, what sets these two groups apart and how can we close the gap? Let us explore a few of the characteristics of salespeople that are really on top of their game and invariably blow their sales targets out of the water.
- Presence – Regardless of your physical stature, when you walk in the room your presence should be felt. When you speak, you should do so boldly. Your voice should be animated, filled with inflection and a tone that instantly grab and keeps people’s attention. Confidence is key and being memorable is important.
- Ask Great Questions – Consultative selling is based on this skill. Asking the right questions gives you the opportunity to present the right answers. Questions should be specific, thoughtful, and illustrative, so the conversation is directed in a meaningful way, which ultimately reveals the customer’s compelling reason to buy.
- Subject Matter Experts – Know your products and services through and through. Understand what aspects of your products are most important to your customer and be prepared to answer anything that may come up including cost justifications and ROI calculations. Expertise is also displayed with broader knowledge of the industry/ market.
- Know the Audience – In order to lower resistance and build rapport, a salesperson must connect with a prospect on a more personal level, knowing their challenges and objectives. Presentations should be tailored to in a way that makes the receiver feel like it was made just for them.
- Push Back – When a salesperson has a low need for approval they are not afraid of rejection, which makes it easier to pick up the phone and make the tough calls. You can challenge assumptions, overcome objections and respond directly in a way that cuts through the noise and keeps control of the narrative .
- Great Sense of Humor – Having the ability to detect the moments where it would be useful to lighten things up by using humor makes salespeople more likable and keeps the pressure from mounting. People do business with people they like.
- Concise – No rambling, unnecessary details, complicated demonstrations, or overblown explanations. When it comes to a presentation, less is always more.
- Close – Salespeople must know when to close. This is not a moment you can calculate- after X number of minutes, calls, meetings or questions. It is when all required milestones within the sales cycle have been achieved which can occur after one day or one year, one call or ten calls. It is milestone-specific, not time- or quantity-specific. Salespeople must be able to identify when this moment arises and get the deal closed .
All salespeople have the potential to be great once all these competencies mastered. They can be taught, and they can adapt. I am certain that when I just started my entrepreneurial journey and I had to sell daily I may have possessed only three or four of these competencies. It took lots of practicing, drilling, rehearsing and attending every sales course I was qualified attend. Another major key to my progression was mentorship. I was blessed to have served as the President of Jamaica College Old Boys association where I had to share office with the Hon. Danny Williams, who was the founder and President of Life of Jamaica (now Sagicor). This is where I got my real lesson in sales by watching and learning from the Maestro himself. I believe that you and your salespeople can master all ten of these competencies if you are deliberate and intentional about identifying your gaps and work on getting better at them daily.
Duane Lue-Fung is an award-winning entrepreneur and is the Founder & Chairman of the Caribbean’s #1 Sales Development Company, Think Grow Lead. For more insights on sales & customer experience training, sales recruiting and sales outsourcing please visit TGL’s website. www.tgltrainers.com/ www.tglsalesschool.com or email me your comments at email@example.com