Behind the scenes, the most effective salespeople have certain characteristics in common that help them generate more sales and it’s easy to see why.
All salespeople are measured by the results they achieve, and the methods they use to achieve their sales goals are worth assessing. After all, no matter how good they are, don’t all salespeople want to know how to get more results?
Whether you’re inside sales or outside sales (field sales), some of the best salespeople have certain characteristics and habits in common that help them win more sales.
Let’s take a look at some of them and see what it takes to boost sales for your organization.
They have a vision that they’re relentlessly focused on
The most effective salespeople have a clear vision of how to achieve their goals and they won’t stop until they do. Does that mean all visions are created equal or that every vision is clear from the beginning? Absolutely not. Visions are just ideas — hypotheses — and they need to be field tested against real-life events and obstacles.
The process of iteration will lead them to the end-goal, but it takes vigilance, persistence, and perspective to get there.
The way the most effective salespeople achieve their goals is by realizing what works and what doesn’t and then adapting their vision to meet the moment.
And as they’re aligning and realigning their vision, they’re bringing people together because they know it takes teamwork to achieve the best results… which brings us to our next point.
They bring people together
The best salespeople know they can’t do it alone. They galvanize a group of people around their vision and goals to foster community, collaboration, and teamwork to set themselves up for continued success.
Often, the best salespeople offer mentorship to their colleagues because they understand they’re only as good as their team allows them to be.
There’s no point in trying to achieve greatness alone, so the best salespeople share as much of their knowledge as possible in order to elevate the people around them.
They’re perpetually persistent
We covered this idea in the first point, but it merits more discussion. Successful salespeople don’t just have ideas and write them down. They apply them. They understand that to become great, an idea has to be successfully followed to its conclusion.
Following the vision and adapting it to real-world situations requires persistence. It’s the fuel that allows the vehicle to operate and great salespeople never let it run out.
They listen constantly
It would be arrogant and delusional to think one has the best ideas in the room all the time. On top of that, lacking perspective is only going to hold you back.
A great salesperson listens. Listening to others ideas is a huge part of strategic leadership and it can carry you far, opening you up to a wide range of opportunities and ideas you might have missed.
By opening themselves up to other ideas and avenues for thought and strategy, great salespeople are honing the craft of adaptation, and the ability to adapt is a key skill that drives quality of vision and the possibility of attaining it.
They can tell a great story
A great way to bring people into your world and convince them that you have inspiring ideas is by telling them a well-crafted story. The quality of a story can determine and persuade people to invest in you and your brand. I mean, what’s the purpose of a commercial after all?
A story — which comprises some of the most innate and important aspects of human nature (see: archetypes) — can convince people that you have something of value, that you have a certain amount of knowledge, and it can be incredibly convincing.
Better yet, a salesperson who can tell a great story doesn’t have to rely on the forever offputting process of direct selling.
They test ideas
A great salesperson only knows they have a great idea once it’s proven. How do they prove it? Test the market.
The best salespeople know that the best way to test an idea is to learn what the market will accept, and then build their idea around that niche.
Testing ideas is identifying potential and working tirelessly to achieve it.
They can effectively manage their emotions
Some people allow their emotions to control them (and let’s be honest: we’re only human. Everyone lets their emotions take control from time to time.), but the most effective salespeople have an incredible ability to contain themselves based on what the situation calls for.
They know that one cannot change the conditions they’re in, they simply have to deal with them and adapt to them.
They evolve constantly
We’ve discussed this in many different capacities, which underscores the overall importance of the concept. The ability to adapt to situations both large and small is an incredible trait that can work wonders for salespeople.
Successful salespeople are constantly learning, developing, and adapting to the environment around them. Know that evolving doesn’t have to start with big daunting tasks.
Great salespeople have the discipline to know that changing the big things starts with the small things. Work with manageable changes first and have the patience to know that the big changes will follow in time… which brings us to our next point (again):
The best salespeople are resourceful, and part of being resourceful is knowing when and how to use your resources. Sometimes you act, and sometimes you just have to play the waiting game.
When a great salesperson knows that they’ve done all they can for the time being, they know it’s time to start applying themselves elsewhere.
It’s a fine-tuned orchestra of efficiency for proficiency and you have to know what instrument to play when.
Pushing a prospect before they’re ready is only going to help them realize that they’re being sold to and it’s going to turn them off.
Great salespeople know when to lay off and let all the information they’ve given a prospect sit for a while so they can consider it on their own time. After all, good work pays off in the end.
They adopt the right tools and technologies
The best salespeople know their strengths are often limited by their humanity. They need the right tools and technologies to help them succeed, and, more importantly, succeed better. And they’re not just trying to remain competitive, they’re trying to stay ahead of the curve.
Their willingness to try new things in order to adapt to an ever-changing environment is one of the reasons why they succeed. Great salespeople expect their environments to change, which is why they’re so good at seeing the changes when they’re happening.
Not only are great salespeople knowledgeable about the tools at their disposal, but they become early adopters and testers of the technologies that could have the biggest impact on their margins, inevitably making them better at what they do.