A winning personality. It might sound cliche, but studies have shown that personality is what separates the salespeople at the top from those on the bottom. Even among those with great personalities, there are traits that make a salesperson stand out, and smart dealership managers will learn to identify and promote the team members who display them.
One might assume that gregariousness tops the list. Everyone has had encounters with salespeople blessed with the gift of gab. However, just being able to talk isn’t what makes a sale. It’s how a conversation is used.
Salespeople who are curiosity-driven want to know more. They thrive on getting information and will actively pursue it. On phone calls, they won’t just pitch; they’ll take the time to get to know the person on the other line. Armed with the consequent information, they are better positioned to provide the information the customer wants and needs to hear, increasing the chances of a sale.
Pollyanna would have made a great saleswoman. Interviews with top salespeople show that the cream of the crop stays positive on the job, not prone to feelings of sadness or discouragement. A 2019 study from Marchex found that the best salespeople routinely laughed on calls, and their general attitude relaxed customers. As a bonus, a positive disposition energizes not only them, but everyone working with them, boosting the entire dealership as a result.
It’s tough to put yourself out there. Salespeople are well aware that they are often interrupting people’s days, and are not necessarily welcome intruders. So it’s easy to understand why a salesperson might feel self-conscious.
The trouble is, those who think that way have a harder time taking initiative or cold-calling. The best of the best are either naturally unselfconscious or conquer the discomfort. They are instead aggressive and goal-oriented. These salespeople forge forward, doing whatever is needed to make and close sales, and are tremendous assets to dealerships in an age when walk-ons are getting rarer.
More often than not, great salespeople have a history in sports, whether recreational or professional. This is no coincidence. Sports are excellent training for sales, providing a background in competition, resourcefulness, and goal setting.
The last is crucial for good salesmanship. Being able to set and achieve goals is a strong indication of a motivated individual, just what a dealership wants. Goal setters also tend to be competitive, and push themselves to always up the stakes and do more, helping them blow past sales benchmarks.
Finally, the best salespeople are those who take ownership of sales. They may even seem borderline controlling when it comes to their sales, but that’s because they take them seriously. They see their auto sales as an extension of themselves, rather than something they do for the dealership.
This ownership mindset is what sets them apart from the 9-to-5 crew. These sales members are conscientious and reliable, and they feel invested in the process and responsible for results. Identifying sales members with this quality will be a massive win for your dealership.