What makes an excellent salesperson

- Francis J. Kong -
An optometrist was instructing a new employee on how to charge a customer. "As you are fitting his glasses, if he asks how much they cost, you say P4,500."

If his eyes don’t flutter, say, ‘For the frames. The lenses will be P3,500."

If his eyes still don’t flutter, you add ‘Each.’

Boy…oh…boy. This is not customer service…this is a rip off.

This is no way to make a sale.

"Hi…how are you doing?"

"Do you need any help? Well if you do just call me…I’ll be around."

These are the same words I hear from salespeople everytime I enter a shop or a boutique in America.

A lot of emphasis is given on customer service.

Businesses know that the only element that maintains business and carries the possibility to make it grow is not the brilliance of their finance people, not the charisma of their CEO and it’s not even the products and services they churn out everyday. The only element for business survival and growth is to create satisfied and loyal customers.

What does it take to be an excellent salesperson?

This is the question.

Here is a list of things that make an excellent sales person. As customers we long to see this in our service providers no matter what the industry is. Now you will be amazed that all the salespeople we admire exhibit most of the qualities I will be talking about. And you can use this list as a way to hire excellent salespeople—or as a way to improve your own skills:

1. An excellent salesperson is a sight for sore eyes.

Excellent salespeople make good first impressions. They are genuine, pleasant, and easy to talk with and they take care of how they look. The best salespeople have a neat and well-groomed look about them. Their clothes and accessories may not have to be expensive but they must be appropriate for the occasion. Here’s a tip: their shoes are always a good indicator: ‘Not too new (with the price tag still on…) but freshly "shined" is what you want to look for.

An excellent salesperson knows that he never gets a second chance to create a first impression.

2. An excellent salesperson loves to be with people.

One indication you see is that excellent salespeople need to be liked.

They want to please their customers and prospects. They go the extra mile, learn customers’ preferences, and work to educate their customers and keep them informed. And so in relation to this…..

3. An excellent salesperson is a good listener.

One thing I noticed with excellent sales people is that they gently probe with questions carefully listening to what their prospects are saying and then the brilliance is that they do not sell but they lead the customers to buy. They are patient with prospects—not pushy. They understand the most important key to successful selling: The sale today is not as important as the relationship tomorrow.

4. An excellent salesperson behaves professionally.

I always admire sales people who do not bad mouth their competitors. They will always point to their product pluses and advantages they offer but they will not verbally tear down others.

Another thing is that excellent sales people leave their problems at home. Everybody has problems – health, family, financial, personal but excellent sales people never bring these problems to work with them and let them affect their attitudes.

5. An excellent salesperson is an expert with his products or services.

Great salespeople know their products inside and out. They are fanatical with details. They embrace non-stop learning. They can answer even the most complicated questions from customers without having to refer them to someone else at the company. This is why you will never see a great salesperson who is sloppy and careless.

6. An excellent salesperson is driven to succeed.

There are two important qualities excellent sales people exhibit; their creativity and assertiveness. They are energetic and they have a very strong work ethic and you see them putting in more hours than their co-workers because they are extremely competitive. They do not compete against others but they compete against themselves. Learning more, doing more and producing more.

7. An excellent salesperson has a service mentality.

One thing that distinguishes great sales people is that they are able to step outside of themselves and see things from the customer’s point of view. They do not focus on their benefits or commissions but they focus on meeting all the customer’s needs.

There is a great difference between sales people who are average and those who are excellent. Excellent salespeople never stop improving on themselves. They always strive to be better. They read books, they listen to tapes, they attend non-company sponsored seminars and they read columns just like this one. (Serious!)

But above all, they are good servants because they exhibit what Scriptures say…you know…the part that says something about "doing to others what you want others to do unto you….."

So happy selling.

(You can listen to Francis Kong through his radio program "Business Matters" aired 8:30a.m. and 6:30 p.m. daily over 98.7 dzFE-FM ‘The Master’s Touch’, the classical music station.)

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