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There are many qualities and characteristics that make a great sales person, but I have picked out some that I think are more important than others.
Listening skills: It is easy to start talking when we meet someone for the first time. The secret is to stop and let the prospect talk, and review carefully what they are saying.
A good rule is to listen twice as much as you talk when dealing with a prospect. You should monitor your sales person when they are talking with a prospect and see how much talking compared to listening is going on.
Questioning: When you do talk, make sure it is to find out what the prospect wants and needs. Try to arrange your questions into a logical order, rather than just random questions. You want to get to the point where they have all the information they need.
Understanding: Your sales person should be able to relate to the customer and show empathy for them in a way that puts them at ease. This will require some rapport, some listening and some questions so that it builds a clear picture of what the prospect is looking for.
Resilience: If the customer says “no” or they say they want to think about it, then your sales person needs to keep going and not let it get them down. In sales you have to be prepared for plenty of knockbacks, but keep getting up, dusting yourself off and moving forward. If the prospect says they need to think about it, this usually means they need more information.
Genuine: Prospects can see through fake — they know if they are being hustled and can smell false promises a mile away. This requires the sales person to be honest, credible and caring toward the person they are hoping to sell to.
Professional: Be professional, look professional and act professional. This means being prepared for anything.
Paul Conway is the owner of Crown Fitness and is also a consultant with Retentionetix, which is a consultancy that assists gyms in improving sales and retention. Email him at email@example.com.