Forget it, the perfect salesperson does not exist – it’s only a professional myth. You can rest assured however, many sales representatives come close to perfection thanks to their personality, their behaviour and the results they achieve. Here are the qualities that the ideal salesperson should have and that you must look for when searching for the perfect salesperson for your organization.
“He could sell ice to an Eskimo,” but what happens if your sales strategy does not include ice or an Eskimo? You need to surround yourself with the best salespeople for your organization. The members of your sales force should reflect your company’s profile, since they are after all your organization’s direct representatives. Fortunately, some qualities are universal in the sales world, making the recruiting process that much simpler, and here they are.
1-Honesty and ethical conduct on every level
A good salesperson must be honest. As obvious as that might seem, it is nevertheless one of the fundamental qualities of a good sales representative. Salespeople must be completely honest, and their ethical conduct must be beyond reproach in their dealings with your clients, which will in turn promote client faithfulness and satisfaction.
Sales representatives must also be honest with your organization, their employer. For example, you need to have complete trust in your representatives who work from home, are on the road or are on out-of-town business trips when they write down their hours. In this respect, there are many systems or software that can help you verify the facts, but a relationship of trust still remains a key to success.
2-An ideology like that of your organization’s
Among qualities of a good salesman, you should search for a salesperson who also reflect your organization’s ideology and values. On one hand, some of the first interactions clients will have with your organization are with your salespeople. Hence, you need to make sure they will adequately transmit your company values.
On the other hand, representatives – like any other employee – must know and must put the company’s values into practice, which will in turn contribute to a pleasant working atmosphere and a successful business, all while adding to their own sense of belonging.
3-Mastering the basics
Good salespeople have good sales knowledge. They must master the art of negotiation. Moreover, whether it applies to techniques for preparing for a meeting, for a follow-up on an interview, or for client management software, representatives need to know the fundamentals of the job. Consulting their key performance indicators (KPI) will give them the opportunity to continually improve in what they do, which will produce better results for your organization.
They must know their product and their clients. Make sure your salespeople are curious by nature because that characteristic will be beneficial to you. They have to know your products inside and out, have to constantly be on the lookout for new developments, for changes in the industry and in the sector of activity, and they always have to be aware of what is offered by your competitors.
4-Impeccable communication skills
Words are an integral part of a salesperson’s daily tools. He/she must be able to use them effortlessly and tastefully.
In this respect, a good salesperson must communicate by using the right and appropriate vocabulary adapted to your products – ideally in only one language at a time to avoid gallicisms and awkward translations. Hence, he/she will speak more eloquently (here, we can forget about coarse language and swearing!).
In the same manner, a good salesperson must be able to easily communicate with your clientele in their language, whether it is French, English, Spanish, Mandarin, or German. Identify what languages you need to deal in, and steer your recruiting or your employee training in that direction.
The verbal and non-verbal
Sales representatives must also have excellent communication skills. They must be able to listen to clients because clients provide precious and useful information for your sales strategy – but only if they get the chance to speak and be heard. Salespeople must also learn how to read clients’ body language as it can also reveal a lot of information.
The same goes for salespeople themselves. Sales representatives must be aware of the importance of their body language, all while taking care of how they present themselves.
5-PDCA revised: perseverance, dogged optimism, challenges, and ability to adapt
Quick sales, the building of long-term relationships, sales counseling… the kind of sales your company offers depends on your line of products. No matter the swiftness or adeptness needed to close a sale, what matters most is your representatives’ perseverance.
Perseverance and dogged optimism
At the end of the day, perseverance always provides return on investment. That’s why it is important for you to make sure that your staff is made up of salespeople who will work even harder in the more difficult times, who will make the necessary efforts to deal with hectic situations, and who will always aim for success with optimism.
Finally, good salespeople must like challenges. That is how they will surpass themselves and will stay optimistic in the face of more difficult and challenging situations. It also goes without saying that they must have high resistance to stress!
Ability to adapt
Sales representatives must be able to adapt depending on the different sales circumstances and the different kinds of clients. Business dinners, happy hours, or early breakfasts – good salespeople must prove themselves to be flexible, and they must be able to adapt their schedules to the clients’ own when necessary.
Salespeople must also be considerate towards clients, and must adapt their strategy to the client’s profile and behaviour. Sometimes adopting a more informal tone, and sometimes a more refined one, a sales representative must make sure that clients feel comfortable and must provide them with a setting that will incite them to close a sale.
Most importantly, the perfect salesperson is the one who will, first and foremost, build a reciprocal relationship with your organization based on trust, respect, perseverance, and achieving results. Excellent salespeople are led by excellent managers. Do you have the right staff in place?