10 Attributes of a Great Sales Professional

February 9, 2011

Self-Development

What has your experience been with sales professionals? Most of us think of words like “pushy”, “impersonal”, “demanding”, or just plain “rude”. Over the last five years, I’ve had the opportunity to coach and lead as many as 60 sales professionals at one time, and from that experience I’ve identified what I believe are the key attributes of a great sales professional. Here they are in no particular order.

  1. Knowledgeable: A professional that knows the market trends from a macro and micro perspective. Understands the ins and outs of the sales process and how to effectively manage the transaction. Has a proper understanding of the laws, best practices, and procedures for ensuring a smooth closing of the sale. Has superior knowledge of the products and services they are selling.
  2. Service Oriented (Caring): Is able to understand the emotions and concerns of a client as it relates to the sales process. Demonstrates they care through both actions and words of encouragement. They actually take on the cares and desires of their client and make them their own. Their service to the goes the extra mile ensures the client has an overall great experience.
  3. Good Communicator: Is a good listener and speaker. Asks questions, takes notes, repeats answers to ensure understanding, does not over promise, and provides regular updates to clients. Stays in touch with past clients in a way that matches each client’s needs and desires. They do not over communicate through annoying emails, voicemails, or newsletters. They are not afraid to share their business vision and can articulate their values and goals to clients and referral partners.
  4. Good Negotiator: Knows how to persuade people, seeks win-win solutions, and knows the limits of their negotiating power. Understands when someone is asking too much and is not afraid to let them know.
  5. Trustworthy: Past performance and follow-through make them trustworthy. Their recommendations are reliable and their advice is sound. They explain the sales process in a way that makes clients feel comfortable and at ease with them.
  6. Determined: They pursue their client’s interest with passion. They work hard to ensure success for themselves and the people they serve. They don’t take the first “No” as the final answer instead they work on solutions to problems.
  7. Relational: They are easy to talk to, enjoyable to be around, and relate well to all parties, including family members of clients. They genuinely care about their clients.
  8. Creative: They seek out new and innovative solutions to a client’s needs. They make recommendations to clients that help them achieve their goals in ways they did not think possible or expect. They solve problems in unique ways.
  9. Honest: They are transparent, candid, and speak the truth even when it is going to possibly cost them a sale or a client. They do not hold back information needed to make a wise decision. They disclose all facts and information to their clients.
  10. Willing to Sacrifice: They constantly are putting others ahead of themselves to make sure others’ needs are met. They do not do this in an unhealthy way, but in a way that leads to greater appreciation and “wow” customer experiences for their clients. They are willing to take  late calls, have regular meetings, and explain things two-three-or four times to a client so that they completely understand the process.

Questions: What do you believe are the attributes of great sales professionals? What did I miss?

Make it a great day!

Coach Dan

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