There is no way around it: To have a highly successful business, you need very dynamic salespeople.
But what exactly are the characteristics of a good salesperson—especially in 2019? In this blog post, we are not going to skirt the issue but instead get right down to it with the following statement…
If you are successful in business, we’d be willing to bet money that when you look for a new salesperson to join your team, you are seeking a mirror of yourself.
Admit it. You want a salesperson who possesses your particular qualities—the qualities that have made you the success you are today. We understand this urge and think it’s a good one. You don’t want to kid yourself, and you shouldn’t be swayed by fancy pedigrees or certificates when you start interviewing candidates for sales positions in your company.
What Patrick Collison, CEO of Stripe, says on Twitter totally resonates with us.
“Before you make an offer to someone, think about whether you’d like to have 10 times as many people like them in your company.”
That’s a good point of reference. You really do have to be absolutely taken with the salesperson you hire and wish you had 10 of them. However, in your heart of hearts what you really want is a mini-me who possesses the following qualities that you and all other successful business owners possess:
- Driven to Succeed
- Goal Oriented
- Cognizant of Human Nature
- Capable of Leadership
As a successful business owner, don’t you agree that the qualities listed above are ones you personally possess?
Now let’s dive a little bit deeper into the characteristics of a good salesperson in 2019.
We really like this article from Inc.com titled “5 Mindsets of Highly Effective Sellers.” In the article, the founder and CEO of Porch.com, Matt Ehrlichman, discusses how he hired sales industry veteran Rod Browning to lead his sales organization. Mr. Browning is highly recognized for the work he did for GoDaddy, creating their very first outbound sales team.
Mr. Ehrlichman glowingly points out the “superpower’ of Rod Browning, which is his ability to identify the character traits that make someone a highly effective seller.
Below are 5 common mind-sets that Rod commonly observes in the most successful and effective sellers on his teams:
- They Clearly Understand the “Why” of What They Are Selling—The most successful leaders understand the “why” behind their product or service. And the same goes for great salespeople. They are very clear about why they sell the product or service they do and are proud of it; otherwise, why sell it?
- They Are Helping, Not Just Selling—This may be one of the most important characteristics of a good salesperson; they honestly believe they are helping the people they sell to. When a salesperson feels this way, they possess qualities beyond simple sales know-how. They have moved to a higher level of consciousness and experience actual joy when they make a sale.
- They Have Clear Intent—If a salesperson does not care about the product or service they are touting, a potential customer can sense it like a bad odor. People are not stupid. If you are only out to make a sale, your target can sense it easily. A good salesperson has pure intentions and those can also be sensed immediately.
- They Only Focus on What’s in Their Power to Control—The best salespeople don’t let the fear of failure or rejection affect their effort levels. They view failure as a learning opportunity, using each rejection as fuel toward closing their next sales opportunity. You can pretty much figure that a salesperson who has this kind of mind-set also uses it in their personal life and is an all-around success, in business and in life.
- They Listen More Than They Talk—There’s not a single one of us who hasn’t experienced a person who does not know when to shut up. Whether it’s someone trying to sell you something or just your neighbor and their gossip, there is not much more aggravating than a person in love with the sound of their own voice. A good salesperson knows instinctively when to stop talking and turn the floor over to someone else, especially when it comes to a prospective buyer.
We have now discerned, without a doubt, that having a dynamic salesperson on your team is one of the greatest assets of a business, and the characteristics that good salespeople possess usually mirror characteristics and qualities that you, as a business owner, have.
However, in the digital age, a good salesperson wears hats that salespeople of old never even had to consider putting on. A good salesperson in our modern age must not only understand human nature and the psychology of sales—which most good salespeople know on a visceral level—but also be able to bridge the gap between offline and online sales.
Knowledge of the internet and the online sales process—along with a basic understanding of the tools needed for great e-commerce success—can be a real deal breaker when it comes to hiring new salespeople to join your team.
Of course, anyone is trainable. Just make sure your new salesperson either has online sales experience already or is highly motivated to learn and learn quickly. It is rare that you will find many prospective salespeople who don’t have at least a basic understanding of the internet. Unless they have been living under a rock, your new sales candidate is on social media and uses email, at the very least.
The success of most businesses in 2019 will depend heavily on your ability to make online sales, so your new salesperson must be able to deliver in this area. To help your sales team or your prospective sales candidates have a firm grip on what it takes to be a successful salesperson in the digital world, point them to this blog post, which covers the following salient points and more:
How a Salesperson Can Excel in the Digital World
- Research—65% of companies who exceed lead and revenue goals have updated their buyer personas (or avatars) within the last 6 months. Further, they have trained their sales professional on what to do with that data.
- Consistent Content Creation—The majority of people getting ready to make a purchase of any kind do online research first. Consistently creating and sharing content with potential buyers is key to garnering interest and, eventually, making the sale.
- Social Media Tactics—Knowing where your target customer hangs out is critical. Therefore, understanding each social channel’s functionality and capabilities is an absolute must.
- Understanding What Collected Data Says—A salesperson who can analyze behavioral data is a true weapon! The digital customer has predictable behaviors, and the true sale professional can pick up on that by analyzing data.
The blog post mentioned above also talks about the need for trust and transparency, along with critical thinking ability. These along with the traits mentioned above cover the basic characteristics of a good salesperson in 2019.
If you happen upon a potential salesperson who possesses the characteristics of a good salesperson that we listed in this blog post—those that usually mirror your own personal characteristics—and has shown success in selling during our digital age or is highly motivated to learn, you have found a gem that you should immediately hire and hold on to tightly. This person is worth their weight in gold.