Qualities and Attributes that Define a Sales Professional - Top Sales Success

“What qualities define a sales professional?”

To answer this question, I had to deeply reflect both on my personal experiences as a field sales rep, and as a leader of sales teams for various organizations over the years. The result is the checklist below. Keep in mind, each of these points has a real life story behind them that I will share in later blogs.

Here are my defining qualities and attributes of a sales professional:

As a sales professional you must:

  • Be RESPONSIBLE for your actions
  • Hold YOURSELF accountable
  • Focus on RESULTS – nothing else matters
  • Do things with a sense of urgency
  • Do what you say you are going to do
  • Position yourself in such a way that it will be very hard for a prospect to say NO. Make it personal
  • Work hard, work smart
  • Manage expectations…under promise and over deliver
  • If you made a mistake be the first one to report it….take responsibility…admit it…so that the focus can be on a solution. Trust is earned. The cover-up is usually where people get into trouble….resulting in a loss of trust and wasting time
  • Have higher expectations of yourself than others have of you
  • You have to be your toughest boss…if your Sales Manager or VP of sales is tougher on you than you are on yourself…then you have a problem that you need to solve
  • Appearance – look like a professional. Dress one step above your industry’s expectations
  • Positive Attitude
    • Wanting to win 100% of the time…
    • Do not talk yourself out of success- when the deal is closed – get out within 30 seconds….
  • Every night is opening night. Don’t skip steps in your sales process
    • Approach and methodology – having a clearly defined sales process that you will implement all of the time. You can’t jump up a step ladder…you must go up one rung at a time. Same with selling
  • Be in alignment with your customer
  • Bad habits are developed when sales are going well. Don’t take your foot off the pedal
  • Don’t forget that the buyer has just as much pressure to buy as you do to sell
  • Act like you have the winning lottery ticket in your pocket when making sales calls – especially when making cold calls. Very liberating. Try it.
  • Be observant. Look around. Pick up hints
  • Be a problem solver and a solution provider
  • Be naturally curious
  • Questions are a sales reps weapons
  • Show up and don’t say anything stupid (This is my personal favorite – I just can’t wait to tell you the story behind this)
  • Courteous and Respectful – to your customers, to your customer’s employee’s from the bottom to the top of the organization, to your fellow employees and to everyone you come in contact with
  • We all make a choice every day. Will I have a good day or a bad day? I choose to have a good day everyday…life is too short. Nobody likes crabby people
  • Don’t make excuses
  • Most of the time a plan fails because of execution…not strategy
  • The hardest door to open when making a cold call is your car door
  • Invest in yourself
    • Why should anyone care about your success if you do not care enough to invest in yourself?
    • One of the great joys in life is learning – Wanting to learn more… Reading self-improvement books, articles, seminars. Being a lifelong student.
    • Knowledgeable in:
      • Sales as a profession
      • Your Industry
      • Your Products
      • Your Customers
  • Base discussions on FACTS only…no feelings…no emotion…
  • Willingness to reach out for advice, for assistance, for help
  • Be ON TIME. Period.
  • Work harder than your competitor
  • Listen, listen, listen
  • Stop talking – don’t feel that you have to fill silence gaps
  • How likeable are you? What is your likeability index?

Why do you have a job as a sales rep?

  • New business, new business, new business.
    • Sell new accounts.
    • Sell new products/services to existing accounts.
    • Help your current accounts grow their business.
  • Be a consultant to your customers…add value
  • Nothing happens until somebody sells something
  • Top line growth. Period

Strategic

  • Sales is a game of strategy – the most prepared will usually win
  • Sales is applied psychology
  • Know your competition
  • Know your customer’s needs
  • Always have a purpose of what you want to accomplish on the sales call
  • Planning lowers stress:
    • Objectives – Strategy – Tactics – Execution
    • Have a plan for the year – for the month – for the week – for the day – for each hour – for each call – then work your plan
  • You don’t necessarily have to be the only company that has a certain feature, you just have to be the first one to say you have it
  • Think of yourself as a defense attorney – only provide the facts that support your defendant…your company – never talk about what you don’t have

Confidence – it is ok to have some swagger!!

  • In yourself
  • In your team
  • In your company

Passion

  • For your profession…passion for results…passion for success…
  • Emotional – to be emotional can be very strong when making a point…to show emotion is good – just do not be emotional on the inside
  • You need to have acting skills
  • Be adaptable
  • A sales rep has to have the same properties as water. Without water we will not be able to live beyond 3 days. Without sales the organization will cease to exist. Water is persistent, powerful force…look at the Grand Canyon. At times a sales rep needs to be as cold as ice…other times – boiling hot passionate. Water takes the form of what it is poured into…a sales rep needs to be adaptable as well. From a beer bottle mentality to a champagne bottle mentality

Conviction

  • In yourself – in your company – in your products and services
  • Leverage your knowledge, skills, experience, education –sell who you are

Motivation

  • Never forget why you do what you do…to make a better life for your family and yourself
  • What is your definition of success?

Dedicated

  • To your success
  • To the team’s success
  • To your Company’s success

To be respected
Life is too short…..HAVE FUN!

Top Sales Success

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