What makes a successful sales person? You might think that it’s somebody with an indomitable spirit, somebody who doesn’t take no for an answer and can cold call for hours without getting discouraged. Others think say that it’s persuasiveness that makes for a success at sales, the ability to turn “no” into “yes, please” after some tasteful schmoozing. Still others might believe that it’s all about strategy, about honing each separate pitch to a razor’s edge based on the specific circumstances of the client and the sale. Well, unfortunately for you, dear reader, that was sort of a trick question: all of these qualities together are equally important to a star sales person.
The nest time you’re in the market for a sales person who handles larger, non-transactional sales, you should keep the “8 Traits of Great Sales People” in mind. Besides the more general personality traits that I mentioned earlier, this Inc. article suggests that you seek sales people who are at their ease when engaging with clients. This means that they consider themselves to be on an equal level with the people that they’re selling to, that they can discuss a large price tag without turning red and they take their time with their (well researched) presentation. Again, this is the profile for a sales person who handles larger, more nuanced customers or clients than someone in a call center. One of the best ways to evaluate a sales candidate for their tendencies to prepare for their presentations is to see how well prepared they are for the interview. Ask them questions about your company, your product or even your competitors and see how they respond. If they pull blanks on a key point (like the product or service that you sell), chances are that they won’t be putting in the due diligence when it comes to the customers that you want them to be closing with.