Sales is one of the most rewarding careers on the planet! Some who could be fantastic, high earning sales people never even consider it as a career. Maybe you were told by your parents, "Work for hourly income, sales commission is to irregular." so you never gave sales a second thought. Many others by happenstance, end up in a sales role, but may not cut it and end up going broke.
To help you determine if you could succeed in sales, I would like to share something powerful with you in this article. This is a list of traits that some of my colleagues and I have determined to be the true heart of a sales person. The necessary traits for true sales success. If you possess some or most of these traits, and are not in sales, I strongly urge you to do research into selling for a living. If you're currently in sales, and you're lacking any of the traits below, I have good news for you, these traits can be practiced, and trained to help you improve your income and client satisfaction!
10 Traits That Are The True Heart of a Salesperson
1. You're able to make a great first impression.
The old sales person cliché still comes to mind for many Americans as soon as the job title "Sales Associate" is mentioned. Images of shark skinned suits, slicked back hair, and fast talking car sales people are the first thing that pops up. This is not what consumers want when making a purchase, be it product or service. People make many judgements about others within the first thirty seconds of laying eyes on you. If you are able to greet a perfect stranger with total confidence, win them over fast and often with a firm hand shake, a friendly greeting, and warm smile. Next, if you can break down any barriers they may have in opening up a dialog with you, then you are able to make a great first impression. Sales might be for you.
2. You desire to make money and work on commission.
This trait doesn't necessarily mean your greedy, but working for salary or an hourly wage is a turn off to those who could really succeed working for commission. This desire is inherent in those people who laugh at a yearly salary and think, "I can make so much more than that with my work ethic, dedication, and skill set." If the thought of punching a clock is dreadful to you because you think you are worth more than that, then commissioned sales could help you achieve your financial goals.
3. You enjoy dealing with the public.
Being a people person really helps. A true sales person authentically enjoys listening to people, asking questions, solving others problems and helping people feel happy. Not to say an introvert can't succeed in sales, but the fact is, if you truly enjoy being around people, you have a key trait it takes to succeed in sales.
4. You are highly trainable and coachable.
Have you been on a sports team in high school or college and just loved the heck out of your coach? Were you able to reach new physical heights because your coach was able to teach you and inspire you to succeed? Did you have a teacher or professor who worked with you to accomplish what you thought was impossible? Do you love asking for and receiving advice from others? Do you enjoy reading self help books or even searching the internet for answers to questions? If a pattern of things like this occurs in your life, then you are probably highly trainable and coachable. If you have this trait, and you find the right sales manager to work for, who is also a great trainer and coach, you could be propelled into the stratosphere of sales success, which by the way, could easily mean six figure earnings!
5. You are process driven.
Most companies that have an entire team selling their product or service, also have a tried and true sales process, a roadmap so to speak, for each member of the sales team to follow. If you are process driven then you do not like to start a task without instructions on how to complete it. If you are process driven then you like to follow a recipe when cooking instead of just winging it. A process driven sales professional will learn and stick to the sales process of the company, instead of trying to freelance and reinvent the wheel.
6. You are proficient with technology.
Todays market is full of social networking programs, sites and apps. In addition to this companies have complex CRM (customer relationship management) software used to track sales and follow up with clients. Being able to manipulate this technology in order to connect with potential prospects, and cultivate your business gives any sales person a huge advantage.
7. You have a good attitude and sense of humor.
Unless your selling something that is very highly desirable, and practically free (think canned Soda), and most of us aren't, then you will probably lose far more sales than you close. Some products or services even have a less than 3% close rate! That means a lot of rejection, and a ton of potential negativity. If you have the heart of a sales person, then no amount of lost deals will really trouble you for long. Negativity and setbacks roll off people with this wonderful sales trait like water off a ducks back. If you can laugh off a tough situation with ease and come out the other side better for it, then the sales challenges you could face probably wont bother you either. Having a perpetual truly positive attitude is a very strong benefit when in a sales role. On the other hand, if you dwell on negative situations for long periods of time, if it takes you long periods of time to recover mentally when things don't go your way, selling could be a rocky road for you.
8. You are empathetic.
Have you always been able to tell when something is bothering your parents or siblings? Do you take notice when a friend or even a total stranger appears happy, or depressed? If you have the ability to feel what others are feeling and sense what they are thinking by the tone in their voice, facial expressions and body movement, then you are highly empathetic. When working with people, and attempting to get them to buy your goods, its not about you its about them. So being able to take notice in how someone feels, when they aren't in agreement with what your presenting, or when they are truly excited about what your demonstrating is a critical sales ability that many people in the career field would kill to have. If you can do this, and haven't thought about selling, shame on you! Strong sales reps must pick up on these signals and ask what the customer is thinking to bring fourth any objections. Which brings us to our next trait.
9. You think quick on your feet.
Throughout most any sale, customers will present objections. There are hundreds of possible objections, depending on what you sell, and the ones your clients have must be acknowledged and overcome. The ability to think quick on your feet means you are able to listen to these potential hurtles, quickly figure out a good solution for your client and continue on the selling cycle. If you are a quick thinker, or a fast and effective problem solver, your skills could be utilized to help someone with a purchase!
10. Flexible schedule.
One potential turn off for many who wish to enjoy a lucrative sales career may be the hours. To truly reach your maximum income level a flexible schedule is fairly important. You must be available when your clients can come purchase. I've seen many sales people refuse to stop in on their day off when a high value client of theirs is wanting to make a big purchase. Being there for your customers when THEY are available can make the difference in your paycheck, or even your entire career. For me having a stay at home wife has greatly helped my career, because when I need to go to work to meet with sales reps or customers, I have that ability rain sleet or snow, day or night, 7 days a week! I'm not saying you will work 7 days a week if your in sales. I just want you to know that being able to close a deal at almost at any time, can be very beneficial to a sales professional. If you have lots of free time and want to get into a high income, high payoff, fast paced but sometimes demanding career, sales may be for you!
After reading this, if you have the traits above and haven't thought about a career in sales, you probably need too right away. You might be, selling yourself short! (See what I did there?) If your in a selling role already, then I challenge you to rate yourself on the skillset above. Figure out opportunities for improvement and work on those traits that did not come inherent to you. Doing so could help you could reach new heights in your selling career!