Selling and buying are a combination of intellectual and emotional exercises. Buyers and sellers are emotional human beings, which is why great salespeople are always masters at managing their own emotions. All salespeople are not the same, everyone uses different techniques to get a buyer to sign on the dotted line. However, highly successful salespeople cultivate the following traits.

1. Be Self-Aware

The best salespeople are passionate by what they do. The more passionate you are about what they’re selling and who they’re representing, the more genuine the sales conversation will be. You should take the time to understand yourself and your emotions before venturing into a sale pitch. The common thread that binds successful salespeople is their deep belief in the value of what they are offering. Make sure that you are able use your emotions to your advantage. Your passion and persistence can be contagious and are bound to be rewarded, so be assertive but not aggressive.

2. Identify who you want to sell to

A clearly defined ideal buyer is crucial to an effective sales process. An effective rep researches the prospect to make sure they’re a good fit. Sticking to that ideal is an effective way to generate business. Otherwise, you would be doing the equivalent of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks. This more often than not results in inefficient prospecting.

3. Be more motivated by the “we” than the “me”

Sales is connection. When you treat customers like humans and not like dollar signs, they will reward you with their time, attention and money. Be empathetic. Work on adapting your behavior to the customer’s moods and emotions. It begins with listening and observing, but simply knowing what the customer might be feeling is not enough. You must be able to feel what the customer is likely to be feeling. If you want to build a better relationship, you’ll be empathetic and imagine your contact’s sense of fear and confusion. Then, depending on your emotional reading of the customer, decide whether the customer would prefer to commiserate, complain or (alternatively) be distracted from the situation.

4. Be a Critical Thinker

The best salespeople don’t simply rely on a script that dictates every step of how they should sell a product or service, but rather they adapt or alter their sales pitches in accordance with the prospective customer, time and place. This also means having the ability to think outside the box in challenging your existing sales pitches and processes to reach higher levels. You have to have a desire to solve your customer’s problem. It will help you create new ways to satisfy the customer’s needs, both financial and emotional–such as the customer’s need to be convinced that your and your firm are reputable and reliable. Being a yes-man or yes-woman won’t earn you respect — it’ll only make your prospects think you’re wishy-washy or inauthentic. Don’t be afraid to probe into your prospects’ answers and challenge them when they say something that doesn’t add up.

5. Be Positive

Optimism helps you maintain a sense of balance when things go awry. It proceeds directly from the (often unspoken) rules that you use to interpret daily events. Confidence is a subset of charisma. The best and most charismatic salespeople believe fervently in themselves, their company and their product or service. Confident salespeople act fearlessly and are willing to take risks without worrying about hearing a “no” from a customer or losing out on a potential opportunity.

6. Be Prepared

Never go into a sales call not knowing how you’re going to close the sale. If you don’t know where you’re going, then how will you get there? The most common part left out of any presentation is the close. Plan for it upfront by developing the strategy and your course of action. You might be the most charismatic, influential person in the world, but without an organizational system, your sales efforts will suffer. The top reps are extremely organized: They plan what they’ll do every day, which behaviors or parts of the process they’d like to improve upon, how they’ll approach specific calls or accounts, and more. With a clear strategy in hand, they can execute quickly and purposefully.

7. Follow Up!

This is something that way too many salespeople neglect. The job does not end as soon as the prospect signs on the dotted line. Instead, you have to touch base frequently with your customers to seek feedback and provide tactical suggestions.

Learn From What I Missed

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
― Maya Angelou

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