What makes a successful salesperson?

I've often asked a seminar audience that question, and the answers have been all over the board.

"You've got to have the right product," some say. (It helps, but a really good salesperson can rack up more sales with a mediocre product than a mediocre salesperson can make with the greatest product in the world.)

"You've got to make plenty of sales calls," others say. "The more calls you make, the more sales you'll get." (As a general rule, that's true, but it doesn't go far enough.)

Still others say, "You've got to master the mechanics." (That helps, too. But it won't put you on top of the sales charts unless you master the right mechanics.)

Selling Savvy

In today's market, it's crucial that we learn selling savvy. The sales environment has changed radically in four distinct ways:

1. Customers are better-educated, more sophisticated, and more value-conscious

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Nido Qubein is president of High Point University and chairman of Great Harvest Bread Company. For more information, visit www.nidoqubein.com.