Monday, June 13, 2011

What Makes a Good Salesperson?

Books have been written on the subject. In fact, the second book in the Taking the Mystery Out series will focus on sales and marketing.

I won't attempt, in this short blog post, to provide you with all the ingredients required to create a superb salesperson. I will, however, focus on what I believe is the single most important quality a salesperson can possess: integrity.

Webster defines integrity as being a firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values; the quality or state of being complete or undivided.

I, personally, embrace the second portion of the definition--being complete or undivided.

Have you ever met with a salesperson who constantly interrupts you? Or worse, who's constantly looking over your shoulder to see who else is in the room? How about the salesperson who talks incessantly about himself and doesn't know how to listen when other people speak?

Okay, I admit, if a salesperson spoke incessantly about himself no one else would get a word in edgewise and the salesperson wouldn't make a sale. But you know what I mean, don't you?

If a salesperson is complete and undivided, he's on the same page as the person he's talking with; he's focusing in on the goals of his customer or prospect instead of his own interests.

I was chatting with someone last week who mentioned a mutual acquaintance. She believed this mutual acquaintance was a terrific salesperson. I don't agree with her. Why? Here are some facts; let's connect the dots:
  • The salesperson is bringing in lots of new customers each week.
  • The business' client base is growing quickly.
  • An increasing number of clients are displaying payment issues.
  • An increasing number of new clients are dissatisfied because the product they bought doesn't contain all the benefits and features they were told it had.
  • An increasing number of new clients are upset because the pricing of the product they bought differs from the price they were quoted.
It's easy to schmooze with people and make promises. It's easy to be smiley, and friendly, and nice. What's not so easy is maintaining a good reputation when people find out you break your promises.

Being complete and undivided is the same thing as following rules or adhering to a code of values or ethics. Professionals do the right thing. They do it the right way and for the right reasons. Making yourself--and others--happy in the short term is NOT the right thing to do unless it also makes everyone happy in the long term.

Integrity is the foundation upon which all professional salespersons build their success.

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