Wikipedia defines sales as follows:
“Sales is activity related to selling or the amount of goods or services sold in a given time period.”
A good sales team is the bloodline of every business. Without sales, most companies wouldn’t exist. I’m not talking about companies like WhatsApp or Hike which made money out of the millions of users on the platform. I’m talking about those companies who have products or services to sell.
I have always been interested in the art of selling. I have also had the chance to observe and work with people responsible for targets ranging from few thousands to millions of dollars. One thing I noticed is that like almost every skill, sales is also something we can learn with practise.
From my experience, I have come up with five qualities which I feel that every sales person should have to excel in sales.
- Passion – A good salesperson is passionate about sales. Trust me, being a salesman is not an easy job. It’s quite easy to lose your focus. The pressure to reach your numbers is also not something that everyone can take. However, if you are passionate about sales, there’s nothing that can stop you from achieving your goals.
- Listening – I would rate this as one of the most important but very uncommonquality in a salesperson. Listening is a quality that every salesperson should cultivate. During my days when I was selling calling cards, there was this instance when one of my juniors told me about a frustrated customer who was not given his commissions from the vendor and wanted to speak with someone higher up. The next day, I went to meet him along with my colleague. I introduced myself and apologized for the issue he was facing. The customer started off angrily, but when he found me listening & giving my full attention, he cooled down. I heard his side of things for around 40 minutes. I then explained our side of things – what caused the delay and why he was not being compensated in time and how sorry I was. He appreciated me for coming down and listening to a small time customer like him and the day ended well for us – he gave his biggest order till date.
- Ability to see the client’s point of view – A good salesperson should be able to step into the client’s shoes and see the problem from their perspective. I have mentioned more about this in my previous post here – The best salespeople don’t sell. They build relationships. It’s always important to know and understand the other side of things. However, this is not an easy thing to do. Clients don’t usually open up to you unless they trust you well. So, establishing trust and a good rapport is very important as well.
- Ethics – This goes without saying. You should always be ethical in your sales approach. Don’t look at closing the sales “no matter what”. This is not the right way. I’m strongly against giving bribes / gifts to tilt a buying decision in your favor. I have seen salespersons do really unethical things to stop sales going to their competitors. I’m a strong believer of karma. If you do bad, it will come to you another day.
- Persistence – Persistence is the key to sales performance. There will be many times when you feel like giving up. It’s that will within you to keep going even during times of difficulty or opposition that will make you successful. This is persistence. I guess this quote from Ray Kroc sums it up best.