What Makes A Great Salesperson?

A great salesperson was once asked, “Why are you so successful at sales?”

June 17, 2022

What Makes A Great Salesperson?

A great salesperson was once asked, “Why are you so successful at sales?”

The question, coming from the President, and Co-Founder of the company that had employed him for five years took him by surprise. He hadn’t really given it much thought. He had come from a long line of sales professionals, and to him, he just did what came naturally. 

But after thinking about it over lunch, he went back to the questioner, and gave this reply…

Our customers, and prospects have come to know five things about me, and not necessarily in this order:

  1. I am a bulldog on a particularly tasty bone. I won’t give it up easily.
  2. I truly enjoy selling. Meeting new people. Learning about them, their businesses, their needs and desires, their pain points.
  3. I care about our customers, and prospects. They really matter, and their ongoing success really matters… WAY MORE than I matter, or my “success” matters. This is why I am totally comfortable telling someone that my company isn’t the right fit for them….and referring them to my competition if it makes sense.
  4. I love asking good questions more than I love talking. This helps me truly understand people and their needs. It also helps me stretch my creative muscles to give our customers and prospects new ideas, and insights on how they can grow and thrive.
  5. I’ll be back. I will respect your NO, and objections with good nature for now, but I’ll be working on solid, and creative workarounds to them that will allow me to come back to you again, and again as times, and situations change without ever becoming a pest.  

Identifying Key Attributes of Altezza Salespeople. 

Many hundreds of books have been written on mastering the art of sales. Books encompassing a wide range of categories including methodology and tactics, behavioral psychology, persuasion, sales management, and entrepreneurial mindset. 

While you can learn a lot from reading, and incorporating “learned” strategies and tactics, there is no substitute for how two umbrella factors determine what makes a great salesperson. They are experience, and innate ability.

Experience. There is no Substitute. 

Over time good salespeople learn how to be great salespeople by applying what they’ve learned from their previous experiences. Good, and bad. Much can be gleaned from successes, to be sure. However, the best applied lessons learned from their failures. Scar tissue can be very important when one learns that what won’t kill you will only make you better. 

Great salespeople know how to handle rejection and learn from their both their most successful deals, as well as deals lost. Then the very best ones will adapt based upon that invaluable feedback. Perhaps the greatest lesson learned is that a “lost deal” should never be considered anything other than a “temporarily lost deal.” If a proper relationship has been put in place with a prospect, then resurrected deals are always a possibility. 

Networking ability, solid connections, and relationship building come with experience. It’s very difficult to build a book of business without a strong networking work ethic. The longer great salespeople are building their networks, the better off they will ultimately be. 

Innate Ability. You Can’t Teach It. 

Great salespeople take their time to get to know their customers’ and prospects’ businesses, as well as their needs, and desires. Knowing these things allows salespeople to be empathetic. 

Empathy is something that is mainly intrinsic in a person. It’s also often a key for understanding and anticipating a customer’s, or prospect’s pain points, needs, and desires. 

Hunger is another determining factor in the DNA of a great salesperson. Typically, salespeople who are the hungriest are not motivated by money, but by enjoyment of the process, and the satisfaction that comes from “winning.” But with the best salespeople, it’s always a “win-win” proposition. They’ve “won” be making a sale, yes, but they’re hell bent on making sure that their ex-prospect, now a customer feels like the ultimate winner in the end. 

The ability to communicate well via the spoken, and written word is another thing shared by top-tier salespeople. Oftentimes, these things do come naturally to the topper most of the popper most, but these things most assuredly can be improved upon, and developed in people that are less naturally gifted in these areas.

Preparation is the key to proper presentation. The best salespeople are always aware, and PREPARED. As such, they excel at active listening, and fruitful responding as well. 

Grit (persistence) is another innate character trait seems to come naturally to people, but can be practiced, and learned as well. A wonderful book titled “Grit: The Power and Passion of Perseverance” by researcher and author Angela Lee Duckworth explains how certain individuals are simply “born with grit” and goes on to identify grit as a leading predictor of success. 

Great salespeople have way more to offer customers, and prospects than exciting pitches and out-of-this-world products, and services. 

At Altezza, we understand the EXTRA VALUE ADDS that great, seasoned, and experienced salespeople bring to every table. We identify, recruit, and deliver great salespeople for “fractional basis” top-tier engagements. We can’t wait to put them to work for you… better enabling you to grow, and scale your business without breaking the bank. 

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