60 second blog – 3 qualities of a top sales rep.
Let’s start with one of the biggest mistakes in recruiting sales staff is looking at just experience. It’s easy to base a hire on because it is tangible; 5 years must be better than 3.
I remember a client who was adamant that the person needed solid 5-10 years’ experience selling a similar product (or at least in the same industry). He got one but not a top salesperson.
Skills are taught whereas behaviour rarely changes. So when recruiting, focus on behaviour first and skills or experience second.
Focus on results: it’s all about winning, losing is not an option.
About 50% of reps will abandon a prospect after one follow-up. However, 80% of sales require five follow-ups.
Unfortunately, some people take persistence to mean using the same communication channel for all client contact; ring – ring – ring – ring – ring or email – email – email – email – email. If a sales rep is using the same channel every time, hearing their name gives the clients angry hives. High performing sales staff handle multiple communication channels and adjust the pitch to suit the situation. Just like a top mountain climber can approach a mountain from multiple angles.
No one wants to work with a stalker. Top reps know how to follow up with prospects without being seen as a stalker. For instance, calling or emailing “just to check in” is pushy (also there is nothing in it for the client and it is an absolute “no go” in sales).
However, asking if they’re still interested in achieving a specific goal and then providing a relevant suggestion is persistent.
Offering a product demo while they’re still in the education stage? Too much, too soon. Delving into their problems and helping them identify a possible solution will earn you their trust, so that down the line they’ll actually say yes.
Top performing reps think before they act. They rarely lose control, they stay composed, they don’t blurt out and have to retract later.
Maybe a potential client asks for a discount. Immediately answering – rather than pausing – makes them more likely to say, “Let me see what I can do for you” instead of, “Can you walk me through the different options available and choose one that suit your budget best…”
They keep cool during negotiations, since getting flustered makes it hard to think strategically. Also, buyers may get more aggressive when they notice their composure slipping away.
They are less self-conscious. That means they are not afraid to take risks and persistently pursue deals. They are less emotional, focusing on the task of closing deals.
It also means they are more likely to bounce back from rejection or failure. They see these experiences as opportunities to learn and improve rather than signs they are not cut out for selling. This resiliency will help them overcome the inevitable hard times. They don’t quit.
Finally, self-assurance comes into play when they are using the Challenger Sales Methodology. They push back on the prospect and focus on the end goal rather than being “liked”. That takes a lot of confidence.
See also: How is the Western Australian job market
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