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, ‘P4,500.00.’

“If his eyes don’t flutter, say, ‘For the frames; the lenses will be P3,500.00.’

“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 words I hear from salespeople every time 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 prospect of growth is not the brilliance of their finance people, nor the charisma of their CEO. It’s not even the products or the services they churn out every day. The only element for business survival and growth is to create satisfied and loyal customers.

What does it take to be an excellent salesperson? That is the question.

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

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

Excellent salespeople create good first impressions. They are genuine, pleasant, and easy to talk to. 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 be extremely expensive, but those are appropriate for the occasion. And their shoes are a good indicator of their good grooming habits: “not too new but freshly shined.”

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.

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. In relation to this…

3. An excellent salesperson is a good listener.

One thing I noticed with excellent salespeople is that, they carefully listen to what their prospects are saying. As they listen, they gently probe with questions, not pushing their customers to buy, but leading them to a purchase. They are patient with prospects. They understand the key to successful selling: the sale today is not as important as the relationship tomorrow.

4. An excellent salesperson behaves professionally.

I always admire salespeople who do not bad-mouth their competitors. They will point to their product’s pluses and advantages, but they will never verbally tear down others.

Another thing is that excellent salespeople leave their problems at home. Everybody has problems – health, family, financial, personal, but excellent salespeople never bring these problems with them to work. They don’t let these affect their work attitude.

5. An excellent salesperson is an expert when it comes to his products or services.

Great salespeople know their product inside and out. They are fanatical with details. They embrace non-stop learning. They can answer even the most complicated question 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 2 important qualities excellent salespeople exhibit: their creativity and their assertiveness. They are energetic, and they have a very strong work ethic. You see them putting in more hours than their co-workers because they are extremely competitive. But they do not compete against others; they compete against themselves, learning more, doing more and producing more.

7. An excellent salesperson has a service mentality.

One thing that distinguishes great salespeople is that, they are able to step outside 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 average salespeople 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 even non-company sponsored seminars, and they read columns just like this one. (Seriously!)

But above all, they are good servants because they exhibit what the Scriptures say about, you know, “doing to others what you want others to do unto you…”

So, happy selling!

(You may visit www.franciskong.com to send me your feedback, or you can also listen to my radio program “Business Matters”, aired 8:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. during weekdays over 98.7 dzFE-FM ‘The Master’s Touch’, the classical music station, to gain even more insights. )

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