Are you proud to be a salesperson? When asked, what do you call yourself? A sales engineer, a sales consultant, a sales advisor?

Why do you think we come up with all these fancy names? I had always thought it was a title developed to offset more money in the pocket. But I had an eye-opening experience at one of my recent classes and while it has happened before, I am still shocked. I asked a member of one of my selling classes to describe a salesperson. The answer given is always similar: "A person who is good with words, able to lie without being detected, tells the prospect what they want to hear and will say anything to get the sale." When I begin to talk about trust and honesty in selling and how essential it is for success, I always get people who question my sincerity.

The public's opinion of salespeople is not high because of the image salespeople have been given on TV and the movies. "Death of Salesman" was a play that showed the downside of selling and it has left its mark on our industry. Selling is an honorable profession that needs to be seen for the value it provides in all industries. Top salespeople are creative individuals who play an influential role in our economy. They develop markets, aid buyers in making decisions and are constantly trying to increase their sales through bold, imaginative thinking.

    Their assets include:
  • They are able to communicate with all types of customers.
  • They have the ability to motivate customers to buy.
  • They are able to see the customer's point of view and have empathy towards that customer.
  • They are able to determine what a customer needs and not just what they want.
  • They understand their own strengths and weaknesses.
  • They some insight into other people to be able to understand their character.
  • They have a good deal of knowledge of their company and products they sell.
  • They understand the value of trust and honesty in selling and travel over the higher road. Top sales people realize that they continually need to grow and gain new insights into the business they are in. I am always pleased at the number of sales people who many years of experience but come to some of my basic training classes. They all have the same answer: "When I stop learning about this business of selling, I'll quit my job." Some people stop learning when they leave school whether its grammar, high school or college. They remind me of the sign I have had in my office for a long time: "There three kinds of people -- those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened!" It is amazing how many sales people wonder what happened. When selling means being in control, how that question can be asked is hard for me to understand. A mark of successful salespeople is their work habits. Are you committed to an eight-hour day? Or are you committed to getting the job done? Do you love selling and lose tract of time? Thomas Edison said genius is 99% work; so it selling. What are the qualities needed to be successful in selling? A great salesperson separates themselves from the fair to good sales people in the following areas:
  • Must have good work habits. Start early and finish what you set out to do.
  • Be organized and have a handle on your management of time.
  • Have goals set for every day, every week and every month.
  • Be honest in all your dealings.
  • Continually increase your knowledge of your product and your competitions.
  • Treat everyone as you would like to be treated.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Be dependable. Make your word your bond!
  • Be sure everything you sell is right for the customer first. Make the customer your first priority.
Go out of your way to help every one. Take time every day to look at yourself and the way you conduct business. Would you buy something from you?