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10 Characteristics of Successful Salespeople

by Kelley Robertson What separates successful sales people from everyone else? I believe that most successful sales people, in virtually any industry, possess the following characteristics:

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1. They are persistent. Selling or running a business for a living requires a tremendous amount of persistence. Obstacles loom in front of us on a regular basis. But its what you do when faced with these barriers that will determine your level of success. I believe it was Brian Tracy who once said that a person will face the most challenging obstacle just before they achieve their goal. The most successful people in any industry have learned to face the obstacles that get in their way. They look for new solutions. They are tenacious. They refuse to give up. 2. Successful sales people are avid goal setters. They know what they want to accomplish and they plan their approach. They make sure their goals are specific, motivational, achievable yet challenging, relevant to their personal situation, and time-framed. They visualize their target, determine how they will achieve their goal, and take action on a daily basis. 3. Great sales people ask quality questions. The best sales people ask their clients and prospects plenty of quality questions to fully determine their situation and buying needs. They know that the most effective way to present their product or service is to uncover their customer's goals, objectives, concerns and hesitations. This allows them to effectively discuss the features and benefits of their product and service that most relate to each customer. Ads by Google

4. Successful sales people listen. Most sales people will ask a question then give their customer the answer, or continue to talk afterwards instead of waiting for their response. Great sales people know that customers will tell them everything they need to know if given the right opportunity. They ask questions and listen carefully to the responses, often taking notes and summarizing their understanding of the customers' comments. They have learned that silence is golden. 5. Successful sales people are passionate. They love their company and they exude this pride when talking about their products and services. The more passionate you are about your career, the greater the chance you will succeed. The reason for this is simplewhen you love what you do you are going to put more effort into your work. When you are passionate about the products or services you sell, your enthusiasm will shine brightly in every conversation. If you arent genuinely excited about selling your particular product or service, give serious consideration to making a change. You are not doing yourself,

your company or your customers any favors by continuing to represent something you cant get excited about. 6. Successful sales people are enthusiastic. They are always in a positive mood - even during difficult times - and their enthusiasm is contagious. They seldom talk poorly of the company or the business. When faced with unpleasant or negative situations, they choose to focus on the positive elements instead of allowing themselves to be dragged down. 7. Successful sales people take responsibility for their results. They do not blame internal problems, the economy, tough competitors, or anything else if they fail to meet their sales quotas. They know that their actions alone will determine their results and they do what is necessary. 8. Successful sales people work hard. Most people want to be successful but they arent prepared to work hard to achieve it. Sales superstars don t wait for business to come to them; they go after it. They usually start work earlier than their coworkers and stay later than everyone else. They make more calls, prospect more consistently, talk to more people, and give more sales presentations than their coworkers. 9. Successful sales people keep in touch with their clients. They know that constant contact helps keep clients so they use a variety of approaches to accomplish this. They send thank-you, birthday, and anniversary cards. They make phone calls and schedule regular keep in touch breakfast and lunch meetings. They send articles of value to their customers and send an email newsletter. They are constantly on the lookout for new and creative ways to keep their name in their customers minds. 10. Successful sales people show value. Todays business world is more competitive than ever before and most sales people think that price is the only motivating buying factor. Successful sales people recognize that price is a factor in every sale but it is seldom the primary reason someone chooses a particular product or supplier. They know that a well-informed buyer will usually base much of her decision on the value proposition presented by the sales person. They know how to create this value with each customer, prospect, or buyer they encounter. We all have what it takes to become successful. Are you ready to make it happen? 2005 Kelley Robertson, all rights reserved.

Overcoming Reliance on Motivation

Communication and Sales - 5 - How to build to a close


This is the final installment in a week on selling and communication. Five days, five tips. Put all of these to work and I guarantee you improved results for virtually any kind of selling. Involve your customer with small steps to get them comfortable to take the bigger ones. Its imperative that you dont do all the work in the sales process. If you keep your clients passive, dont be surprised when its hard for them to suddenly get active and agree to close the sale. Too many salespeople think that its all up to them. But the real secret is to get the customer working on the deal too. Begin with little steps, steps that dont involve big commitments, and then work up from there. In the 1987 comedy Tin Men, 1960s-era aluminum siding salesman Richard Dreyfuss initiates a

younger protg into the magical world of sales. In one call on a housewife, Dreyfuss drops a dollar bill on the floor, and allows the housewife to pick it up for him. He explains to the initiate that he can tell whether or not hes going to get a sale with this trick. If the housewife picks up the bill, shes a nice person and can be talked into aluminum siding. If she doesnt, she wont be won over. The psychology is right, but the execution is wrong. Dreyfuss should have been seeking to create a real relationship with his customers, rather than just exploiting them. And by getting them involved, not in sneaky tests of their malleability, but in genuine steps along the road to the sale, he would have increased the amount of aluminum siding gracing the houses of Baltimore. Take your clients from passive to active. Involve them in the process. Dont do all the work. What are your communications sales secrets? Let me know, and Ill put the best ones in a follow up blog. Here are the 5 communications sales tips in an easy list: 1. Its not about your product, its about listening to your customers need. 2. Its not about eye contact; its about personal space. 3. To close a sale, you need to first establish two things with your customer: credibility and trust. 4. Closing a sale is all about understanding the customers decision-making process. 5. Involve your customer with small steps to get them comfortable to take the bigger ones.
ommunication skills involve both speaking and listening to the client and showing your sincerity and professionalism. Communication involves receiving information, processing information and responding. You do this in a sequence of actions that require you to be attentive. As a Sales Associate, you will depend upon your communication skills from the Meet/Greet to Thank/Follow-up. Listening Skills You probably spend more time using your listening skills than any other kind of skill. Like other skills, listening takes practice. What does it mean to really listen? Real listening is an active process that has three basic steps.

Hearing. Hearing just means listening enough to catch what the speaker is saying. For example, say you were listening to a report on zebras, and the speaker mentioned that no two are alike. If you can repeat the fact, then you have heard what has been said. Understanding. The next part of listening happens when you take what you have heard and understand it in your own way. Let's go back to that report on zebras. When you hear that no two are alike, think about what that might mean. You might think, "Maybe this means that the pattern of stripes is different for each zebra." Ads by Google

Judging. After you are sure you understand what the speaker has said, think about whether it makes sense. Do you believe what you have heard? You might think, "How could the stripes be different for every zebra? But then again, fingerprints are different for every person. I think this seems believable." There are three forms of listening: passive, selective and active. Passive listening is a non-verbal form of listening. The listener provides little to no verbal feedback to the client. Passive listening can lead your clients to assume that you are not really interested, or they may feel it necessary to repeat themselves to ensure that you understand. Selective listening can be summed up as "hearing what you want to hear." When selective listeners hear what they want to hear, they appear to be engaged and to understand. Conversely, when selective listeners do not hear what they want to hear, they tune out the client, or worse, become reactive. Active listening is sometimes referred to as reflective listening. Active listeners receive clients' messages with care and respect and then work to verify their understanding of the message. Active listeners capture both the facts and the feelingsof clients. Some behaviors to use are: Show patience Give verbal feedback to summarize understanding Acknowledge emotions Speak up when something is unclear, or confusing

Fundamental to good communication is using "active listening." Whenever you listen actively to another person's comments, your reason for doing so is to understand the meaning of the message from the speaker's point of view. Your clients have choices. If you don't make them feel welcomed and valued, you will likely lose them as a client.

Sales Objections
Sales objections, send fear through the hearts of many new sales people ! Have you ever experienced the following ? You are in front of one of your biggest accounts. You've asked the right questions and gave a dynamic presentation. So much money hinges on this client's answer. Your heart is beating rapidly. Your hands feel clammy. The time has come to ask for the order. You take a deep breath and say, "Let's do it!" But, the client pauses and says, "Im just not sure. I need to think about it. Call me in six months." End of the road? No! Sale in six months? No! More than likely the client is ready to buy and is just afraid of making an immediate decision. If his fears were eliminated, he'd buy now ! This is where your skill in overcoming sales objections comes into play. So, why do so many salespeople leave with no sale? They never learned the art of overcoming sales objections and hanging in there to get the sale. Thats what this web page is about. Overcoming sales objections can be learned. A Method for answering sales objections that can be used almost anytime. The most elegant system for handling Sales ObjectionsSleight of Mouth.

Why Sales Objections Whether you've been selling for a day, a week, or a number of years, you know that no matter how good your persuasion techniques are whenever you make sales calls, there are sales objections. Thats why overcoming objections is so important. Why do sales objections come up ? What is your worst objection, to let us know click here. Well, if you were selling the perfect product and made the perfect sales call objections would not come up. Since neither you nor your product are perfect then its likely that youll encounter sales objections. Objections are a natural part of the selling process. If there are no sales objections, it could mean that the prospect is apathetic. Objections show interest and enable the salesperson to give more information to the prospect. The more information the prospect has, the easier it is to make the sale. Hence sales objections are part of the process that results in the prospect getting the information he needs to decide to buy. What do some well know sales trainers think about sales objections ? "Champions have almost an affection for even the peskiest objection" (Tom Hopkins)

"There is no such thing as an 'objection,' and therefore there is nothing to 'overcome."' There are only questions. (Plotkin,). I can stay resourceful and creative if I only ask myself, "What's great about this question?" (Robbins) "Objections are the rungs on the ladder to sales success." (Hopkins) So. Aim to develop a positive attitude towards objections so that you truly welcome them. Remember, every product has some problems. "There's not a product or service on the market that doesn't have some built-in objections and at least a few minor problems." (Hopkins). You will never sell anything that doesn't have some weaknesses that couldn't be improved. So, study the weak points and turn them into advantages. While it is almost guaranteed you will get sales objections if youve failed to established need, rapport, credibility or trust, objections are really your opportunity to sell. Sales objections give you insight into what the prospect is thinking, a chance to focus on the major issues that concern your prospect, which allows you to plan the next step of the sales presentation and turn those objections to your advantage in order to make the sale. Overcoming sales objections is all about being prepared. You must know how you plan to turn around each sales objection you face and since objections are simply the manner in which prospects communicate their status in the buying process theyre crucial to understand.

What Types of Sales Objections are there ? Sales Objections have three forms: conditions, stalls, and true objections. Lets look at them in turn. Conditions A Condition is: A valid and legitimate reasons for not going ahead with a sale, a reality condition that prevents the person from buying: can't afford it, doesn't need it, etc. Sometimes a customer does not have the authority to make a decision. Perhaps the company needs to get permission from their overseas parent company to spend that amount of money. Or a decree from the CEO prevents the Purchasing Manager from making a purchase at that time without referring to the CEO.

These are conditions. Often, nothing you do in these situations will result in a signed contract. The key is to ask questions that determine the nature of the condition, and then schedule the appointment for a time when the condition requirements have been met. We simply need to identify true conditions, face the reality, swallow hard and both quickly and courteously disconnect from trying to force a sale. If we become too emotionally involved we will lose the objectivity to detect this. By becoming an expert qualifier, we don't dampen our enthusiasm by trying to overcome a condition that can't be overcome. The real secret to handling conditions is to find out about them as soon as you can. It's better to discover that Dad wants to approve the house before you put the buyers in the car. That way, Dad can come along and see that the house they choose is really the best one. The benefit of handling a condition up front is that you don't waste time overcoming sales objections that do not exist and selling to people who aren't in a positionor don't have the authorityto make the decision. Stalls You'll recognize the most common form of a stall with these words: "We want to think it over." Or Im too busy to make a decision right now. There are many variations. The key to dealing with these objections is to recognize the customer's statement is a stall, so you know what to say. This is perhaps the most common objection. It stands to reason, then, that the strategies you use in overcoming sales objections and countering Stalls are going to be a major factor in your success as a salesperson. Whatever the cause for the stall, handling it isn't a science, it's an art. The art is in helping the customer see that you truly accept and understand their hesitation. Acknowledge that you heard them. Ask questions, start a conversation, draw them out. I understand why you might want to think it over since it is a big commitment. Probe. Ask questions that might reveal what is really stopping them. For example, "Are you concerned with the terms?" Maybe there is something that I was not clear about when I described what the job would entail. Maybe I can help by answering the question now. What was it about my estimate that you wanted to think over? Your goal is to determine the underlying objection. Often, you'll get a reply that helps you uncover the real objection so that you can handle it. It is always easier answering the question now and overcoming sales objections now rather than later because usually there is no later. This type of approach should enable you to start up the conversation again and help make the prospect feel more comfortable about giving you an affirmative answer now. When you listen beyond the prospect's words, you'll often realize they are trying to camouflage their real concern. Perhaps a buyer or seller is afraid that if they tell you the real reason they don't feel they should make a decision, you'll handle it. Or maybe they are trying to avoid confrontation. By telling you the truth, they take a risk. It's much easier than saying, "We're not sure we trust you." A couple of special types of the Stall are:

The Doubter's Maneuver, when your prospect won't (or can't) decide the questions you put to them--and is unwilling to suggest someone else who can. It's a toughie, because a variety of factors can lie beneath this objection, from low self-esteem on the part of your prospect, to bad organization within the company. (What if you're dealing with a small business that really has no "purchasing agent" or "office manager"?) and let's face it, overstepping one's authority is not a key to success in business. If you're speaking with someone who traditionally has never made a decision, it will be very difficult to convince him to adopt an aggressive approach to his business problems. The Reassurance Request, where the prospect asks for a sign of credibility from your side. It's still an objection, but it requires that you listen carefully to what the prospect is really saying, so that you can offer him the information he needs to proceed with confidence. Now lets look at True Objections.

There Are Only About Six Real Sales Objections: 1) "I don't have enough time," This objection can be turned around on itself. Often you can say that your product or system will save them time. 2) "I don't have enough money," This is best handled by using the Contrast frame and re-establishing Value. 3)"It won't work for me (it works for everyone else but it won't work for me)," 4)"I don't believe you." 5)I have no need for your product These objections can best be handled by bringing on your witnesses. Linguistically you can use the feel-felt-found approach. You know, I can understand that you feel that way. Jim Smith felt that way too and let me tell you what he found If the client doesnt believe you it could also be a good idea to concentrate on rebuilding rapport. 6) I have no need for your product at the moment= No urgency The client does see some utility in your offer but has other more pressing priorities. In this instance you may need to go back and build the value of your offer while accentuating the negative side of not acting now. For information on overcoming sales objections click here.

Overcoming sales objections essentially removes those obstacles to your sales success ! Uncovering and dealing with sales objections challenges you intellectually and emotionally. It requires that you know not only your product, but yourself and your prospect as well. Product knowledge, creativity, sales tools, and confidence in yourself, your product, and your company must all come together in overcoming sales objections and closing the sale. You must combine technique with honesty and conviction to get the prospect to resolve any lingering doubt or conflict. Have you ever experienced the following ? You are in front of one of your biggest accounts. You've asked the right questions and gave a dynamic presentation. So much money hinges on this client's answer. Your heart is beating rapidly. Your hands feel clammy. The time has come to ask for the order. You take a deep breath and say, "Let's do it!" But, the client pauses and says, "Im just not sure. I need to think about it. Call me in six months." End of the road? No! Sale in six months? No! More than likely the client is ready to buy and is just afraid of making an immediate decision. If his fears were eliminated, he'd buy now ! This is where your skill in overcoming sales objections comes into play. So, why do so many salespeople leave with no sale? They never learned the art of overcoming sales objections and hanging in there to get the sale. Thats what this web page is about. Want to have the real low down on overcoming sales objections

Things not to do when overcoming sales objections 1) Never but never argue. Even if you are right you'll probably lose the sale. 2) Never, but never attack the person. Separate the person from the objection and deal with it as apart from them. If you fight a person's feelings, more negative emotions will emerge and you will lose! (Not a good Rapport building tactic) 3 ) Never assume you understand an unspecified word When overcoming sales objections if a prospect uses a word that is aNominalisation.dont start answering until you first understand their meaning. ( Briefly, a nominalisation is a word you cannot place in a wheelbarrow, its a concept not a tangible thing.) For example, if a prospect says: I need versatility. Dont start talking about flexibility or the range of products you have or your payment options because that may not be what your client is talking about.

Better to ask: 'Could you explain to me what you mean by versatility?' or 4 ) Never Insult the Prospect Lets look at an example.Prospect: 'Your prices are too high.' It would not be very smart to reply with, 'Arent you interested in quality?' You could reply with:High prices compared to what? or you could soften that with,I understand your concern about pricing, we all need to ensure were competitive in this modern world, and could you tell me who or what you are comparing us to in making that comparison? 5 ) Never Avoid the Issue 'Quite frankly, your service is useless.' It would not be right in overcoming sales objections to change the subject or talk in theory about what is good service because you are dealing with an emotion here. The client is obviously angry or frustrated when the use a word like useless. You need to help them vent their emotion. Much better to stick with the issue, 'Obviously something has happened to make you feel that way. Can you tell me about it?' You need to do your best to establish and maintain Rapport in these situations. 6 ) Dont Shift Responsibility When there is a problem dont try to blame it on your office staff or your delivery people. Think about how that is perceived by your customer. Your customer will only understand that you are dodging the blame. What your customer wants is for someone to accept responsibility and fix the problem. You need to be responding with We., to show that you stand with your company then with Ill fix it. The I bit is important as you are the company in the eyes of your customer and if you have any sort of relationship with him / her they will feel more comfortable knowing the person who is looking into it for them. 7) Never, but never make the person wrong. When overcoming sales objections never make a person wrong because you will create an enemy. Making the person wrong is not a good Rapport building strategy. 8 ) Never Contradict the Prospect Prospect: 'You guys always seem to be having production problems.' Mistake: 'No, that's not correct. We had some problems when we upgraded the plant two years ago. Did you know we have not had any downtime in the last 18 months?' A better reply would be: 'Yes, we had some production problems when we upgraded the plant and currently the plant is running flawlessly, in fact, its been running like that for

the past 18 months. Can you tell me if you have experienced any delays so that I can investigate further?' In the second reply, the sales rep acknowledges the prospect's perception of a problem. Remember, first you meet them where they are and then move them to where you want them to be. 9 ) Dont dwell too long on an objection When overcoming sales objections dont dwell too long on an objection because you will amplify its importance in the mind of your customer. Better to answer briefly. Your answer should be just long enough to satisfy the prospect, and no longer. 10 ) Never guess an answer When overcoming sales objections don't guess at an answer. Admit you don't know. Say: "I'm sorry, I don't have the answer to that question, but I promise to get the information to you." When you actually get back to them with a reply, this will show you have the courage to admit what you dont know and that you walk your talk and follow through on your commitments. This can only improve the clients perception of you. Now you know what not to do. Now if you really want to know how to handle objections and can't wait to go through the FREE eCourse, you can Deal with those sales objections NOW. Don't fumble and mumble Respond confidently to any objection Have a choice of responses Move ahead of your competition Close more sales Make more money Act NOW, go to the sales page, click the link below