Every business owner is a sales person. Don't delude yourself. Every business has to sell their service or product to a consumer. No business can exist without a customer. The reason why so many businesses fail, is that business owners tend to not focus on this critical area. Lets be honest, no one likes to be sold to. How many times have you hung up the phone on that telemarketer? But sales is a living, breathing component of any business. And while there are proven techniques on how to increase sales, no technique is going to work unless it fits your persona.
But regardless of what techniques you use, there are certain characteristics of great sales people. These are the ones who thrive.
1. Great Goal Setters: Great Sales people and business owners know exactly where they want to go and set out a plan to do it. They visualize the prize, set out an approach to reach it by determining how to achieve their goal step by step, and then take action.
2. Persistent: Running a business takes a tremendous amount of persistence. Things get in the way, you have fires to put out, issues come up daily. How you overcome these obstacles is what sets you apart from the common man. Sales people look forward to facing the obstacle that stands in their way of getting the sale. Great sales people and business owners simply refuse to give up
3. Great Questioner: The best sales person ask their prospective clients pertinent and quality questions. They just don't ask questions to get information, they do so to find out how best to solve their prospects problem. If your selling copiers and you ask them how many copies per minute would you like, you fall into the same category as everyone else. A 30 or 40 copy per minute system are basically the same to the office worker. It makes no difference. But if you ask " What are the 2 things that stress your out at night over your job". Different story. Now you prospect is narrowing their perspective to your solution. This allows the sales person to craft a solution specific to the customers needs.
4.Listening Skills: You can't be a great questioner and not have good listening skills.Most sales people will ask a question then give their customer the answer, or continue to talk afterwards instead of waiting for their response. Great sales people know that customers will tell them everything they need to know if given the right opportunity. They ask questions and listen carefully to the responses, often taking notes and summarizing their understanding of the customers' comments. They have learned that silence is golden.
5. Creative: Business owners and sales people need to be creative. Creativity is declining in America, yet business leaders say it is the most crucial factor for success. We all have tremendous creative potential, but how do we tap into that ..We're taught in schools to guess what the teacher knows, there's only one right answer, be obedient, and whatever you do ... don't make mistakes! That doesn't work in business. Being able to come up with more than 1 answer is what can set you apart from the world and bring in huge dividends.
6. Take Responsibility for their Actions: One thing sales people and great business owners do is that they don't cry over spilled milk. They know it's OK to fail. Sales people don't make excuses about the economy or their industry for not meeting their quota. When you look at the great sales/business achievers in history, it wasn't because they were inherently smarter or more talented, they simply pushed through during the rough times. They embraced the issues that were not working and moved on to something that was. James Dyson, the inventor of the Dyson Vacuum cleaner, "failed" at over 5,000 prototypes before getting it just right. In fact, nearly every breakthrough innovation came after countless setback, mistakes, and "failures".
7. Work Harder and Smarter: Good business owners/Sale people don't wait for business to come to them, they go after it. The Great Business owner/sales person creates a system where not only do they go after business, they create a system where it is also comes to them also. Superstars tend to work longer, talk to more people, make more calls than the average person. But the smart thing they do is also ask for referrals. Not just one or two. What's wrong with 25? If your prospect turns into a client, part of the transaction should be a referral.
8.Constant Contact: The best business people keep in touch with their clients. They know when their birthdays are, their kids birthdays, etc. They send greeting cards, they have lunch to simply catch up, they invite them out to corporate functions. Those clients are now part of the business family. It's hard for someone else to break that circle of trust.
9. Value: Most sales people/business owners think that the only way to win a sale is to have the best price. Lets not fool ourselves, price is a major component to any sale. You wouldn't but a chicken dinner for $500.00. would you? No. But a well informed customer doesn't base their sole decision solely off of price. To boost value, put yourself in the shoes of buyers. What do you want from this product and service. Determine your key business weakness, and prepare a plan to correct it. Make it so appealing, that the cost is not the main factor.
10. Be Enthusiastic. The key to your sales success is to raise your own energy and enthusiasm; when you do, people will automatically be attracted to you and what you have to offer. Enthusiasm and energy attracts! You have a tremendous responsibility to your organization to always be ON. When you step on to a sales floor or walk into a sales meeting, you are on stage. Just as an actor walks onto a stage, you need to be ON every time your audience is watching you. Your customers are your audience. They always can tell if you are ON or just acting the part. Your attitude, energy, and enthusiasm play out your results. Make every effort to be ON during every moment you actually communicate with your potential customers.