Want to improve your sales capacity? While some salespeople have an innate sense of how to rise above the pack, the truth is anyone with desire and patience can learn to be a fantastic salesperson. They do this by identifying what makes a great salesperson great and then developing those qualities within themselves. Here are five qualities top salespeople possess and how you can incorporate them into your repertoire if you’re looking to improve your game.
A great sales rep is one who makes goals and focuses on meeting them. This doesn’t just mean meeting a designated sales quota. This means having a plan for how you’re going to meet and exceed that quota. It means being driven by excellence and looking constantly looking ahead.
If long-term planning isn’t your strength, sit down at the beginning of each quarter and come up with an action plan so that you’re well prepared. Write a goal statement for yourself that you keep in a highly visible place and can refer to constantly. Then mark milestones on your calendar so that you’re kept on track at regular intervals. You can also set incentives up for yourself to keep motivated.
Passion is everything in sales. If you don’t seem enthusiastic about your product, chances are your customers won’t be either. A great salesperson comes across as upbeat and excited. Their optimism is contagious; speaking with them you often find yourself nodding along and smiling. Their love for what they do is so palpable, it makes people want to join in.
If you find you’re lacking in the passion department, it’s time to sit down and have a good think. Why did you get into sales, to begin with? Were you hoping to connect with people? Make a difference? Are plain crazy about cars? Try to reconnect with those initial feelings. And if you sort of just stumbled into the job, think deeply about all areas of your position to find some part you can be passionate about. Keep that aspect in mind when talking to customers, and you’ll see them become much more receptive to your pitch.
How much you know is important in this field–if you don’t know much about the cars you’re selling, you should probably reevaluate your career–but there’s more than book smarts needed to become a super sales rep.
- Emotional Intelligence
There are a number of kinds of intelligence and you want to develop a few to really stand out, starting with emotional intelligence. Clients need to feel a connection to you in order to want to buy from you. Working on your empathy will go a long way to achieving this. Make sure that when interacting with clients, your demeanor is highly engaged: you actively listen, your face and body language conveying interest and understanding. Ask follow up questions, even to seemingly trivial stories, and clarify points you’re unclear about.
- Creative Intelligence
You’ll also want to use creativity. View each customer as a challenge where you try to match your pitch to them uniquely. Don’t use the same words and examples over and over. Come up with new ways each time to engage with your customer, showing them that you see them as individuals. In this category, you’ll also want to include creative flexibility. Things won’t always go your way and there will be challenges along the path towards most sales. A great salesperson is the one who is able to creatively roll with the punches.
- Technological Intelligence
Another area of intelligence that top notch sales people have today is tech-savvy. Knowing your way around a computer, mobile device and other media will go along way to helping you stand out to your employer and customers. Use technology to check on leads, follow up with customers after a visit and to improve your dealerships reach. Not only that but as the world evolves towards a more tech-driven economy, having tech intelligence will put you one step ahead in the dealership of tomorrow.
Touching upon points 2 and 3, a good sales rep keeps in mind that the core of sales is the relationships. When meeting with a client, a great sales rep doesn’t think of them as a sale, rather as a person they want to get to know and help. When you see people as more than just a commission and focus on the human aspect of the interaction, your customers will be a lot more receptive to your sales spiel. A good sales rep uses their talents and resources to invest in these relationships.
If relationships don’t come easily to you, take some time to learn–and practice–a few icebreakers that get people talking about themselves. Then remember that the key to building relationships is the empathy and listening skills mentioned above. Keep this in mind so that there’s less pressure on you as you get more comfortable with striking up relationships with new people.
Finally, a great sales rep is accountable. They see themselves as more than just one more dealership salesman, but as a part of the group, working to help the entire team thrive. They take responsibility, therefore, for that part that they’re in charge of and take that responsibility seriously. Take time to get to know your team and your responsibilities well, so that you can cultivate that accountability. Don’t be afraid to admit mistakes, but more importantly, when you discover a personal deficit, be accountable: work on fixing it immediately, no matter what it takes.
Using these five qualities as a template, you should be able to take your sales game to the next level as you improve in your outlook and engagement.