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The 15 Traits of Great Salespeople
The 15 Traits of Great Salespeople

By Jennifer LeClaire
October 9, 2013 5:08PM

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If you want to be a great salesperson, you have to be fanatical about customer service. Providing exceptional customer service helps drive customer loyalty, and, as the old adage says, "it's easier to keep a customer than to find a new one." Happy customers lead to repeat business and referrals, a salesperson's key to success.
 



Are you a top-performing salesperson or doing your best to become one? Trying to figure out how you can up your game to increase your sales for the coming quarter? Or perhaps you're a sales manager charged with hiring and training the best talent for your team?

Check out these 15 traits that all great salespeople should bring to the table.

(1) Be a Good Listener

Active listening is one of the most important skills for any salesperson to master. Salespeople can easily get caught up trying to communicate their value proposition -- telling how their product or service is different from the rest -- talking too much, and then failing to really listen in return. Part of the challenge is that most potential customers aren’t necessarily going to lay out every piece of valuable information in a nice, neat row. You have to ask the right questions to unlock the information about what your customers really want and really need.

(2) Be a Problem Solver

Everybody has problems. Think of customer problems as your opportunity to offer solutions that ease those pain points. Ask the right questions and you'll find the right opportunity. Even if you can’t solve a customer’s specific problem at the moment, you can still use the failed sales attempt as a learning opportunity for next time, or an investment toward future sales.

(3) Be Respectful

J.C. Penney, the founder of the retail giant, was so big on the importance of respecting customers that the company handed out golden rulers to management. That golden ruler was supposed to remind management about the Golden Rule: treat others the way you want to be treated. Always treat customers, prospects and colleagues with respect, even if they don’t return the favor. It will pay off in the end.

(4) Be Assertive

Ask not, have not. If you don't ask for the sale, chances are pretty good that you won't get the sale. Sure, sometimes clients will take the bait, jump in the boat, sign on the dotted line (and other clichés). But you can’t count on making the sale without making the effort. Jack Canfield's book called "The Aladdin Factor" teaches you why you should ask once and then keep on asking. Never be afraid to ask for the sale. Ask when to followup. Ask, ask, ask. If there are objections, work to overcome them. And always, be on the hunt for the next deal. (continued...)

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Maggie:

Posted: 2013-11-15 @ 2:14pm PT
It's also important for managers to keep in mind that it takes time for a new hire to settle into the position. According to Hireology CEO Adam Robinson, it takes approximately six months for a B2B salesperson to become effective in a role.

Matt Rogers:

Posted: 2013-10-16 @ 1:48am PT
This is a good list, I've read a lot on sales tactics, and this list summarises the key points well.
Something else to consider is researching your customer to find out about their interests and passions. This is a point suggested by Harvey McKay in his book 'How to Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive'. If you're interested, a summary of the book can be found here http://whycode.com/whybooks.aspx
Thanks for the article!

Linda Day Harrison/theBro:

Posted: 2013-10-10 @ 8:04am PT
This is a great list to share with all of your brokers, leasing agents and managers of commercial real estate. Customer service is vital in our industry and ties directly to sales, marketing and leasing of our property. Great article!

Jonah:

Posted: 2013-10-09 @ 5:43pm PT
All good points and I'd also suggest:

Be Your Customers' Advocate...

Be the eyes and ears for management, listening to the voice of the customer, sharing feedback with management about the customer experience. As a sales rep, or service rep, you're closest to the customer, out there on the front lines. It's up to you to ensure a great customer experience and to bring back business intelligence to corporate, to continually improve your company's offerings.

Sharon S.:

Posted: 2013-10-09 @ 5:30pm PT
Great list. I've been managing sales for 18 years and this is one of the best articles I've seen for sales managers, as well as sales reps. I'm definitely going to share this with my team.



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