Various forms of marketing can generate leads for you. But, leads are not the only ingredient of the secret sauce you need: You need someone to convert those leads into sales. You need a sales rock star!
So, what traits and qualities should your rock star have?
You could probably list the qualities you want in your sales rock star—that rainmaker who keeps the lights on and the revenue flowing—in any order you choose, since they are, in general, equally important. But I choose to start with a trait I call "drive."
You want your salesperson to be driven to succeed. Without drive there is no will to conquer, no desire to overcome, and no wish to make that next sale. Drive is the passion, the fire inside to make that sale. It's as essential as any of the other traits, but perhaps it's also the one quality that kick-starts all the others.
No one can deny that confidence is a trait of every rock star salesperson. Without confidence, your salespersons are going to have a hard time facing rejection day in and day out. (They also need to have confidence in the company, its products, and its leadership, but that's more about you than it is about them.)
A salesperson with confidence will sell more, make more contacts, and project that confidence to your clients in every meeting. Potential clients can smell the lack of confidence a mile a way, and they will steer clear. Conversely, they will be drawn to it if it exists.
An outgoing personality is especially important in the person you trust to sell the services or products your company produces. Remember, selling is about relationships. An outgoing personality will help your salesperson form the relationships needed to make sales. You can't sell anything if you're sitting over by the dessert tray at every meet-and-greet function you attend.
People will buy from someone they like, sometimes even if what that person is selling isn't worth what they are paying for it. That's a powerful statement, but it's true!
The next quality should go hand in hand with an outgoing personality but it doesn't always. Your salesperson should be funny. Nothing binds two people (client and salesperson) together more than humor. Being able to make someone else laugh nearly guarantees the sale. Humor is a relationship-builder—the best one a salesperson can have. Make sure your salesperson has a sense of humor, and he'll take your company far.
Salespeople are often very loosely supervised—and with good reason. Their position does not tie them to the office or to a certain schedule, and they need freedom to make their own decisions. Nonetheless, your salesperson needs a sense of structure.
Salespeople need to be able to manage their time and tasks efficiently, and they must ensure that they are regularly hitting their targets and their goals and making enough contacts to keep revenue flowing through your doors. A sense of structure and organization is what keeps them on track and helps them continue to succeed.
Watch how your salesperson works for the first month or two to verify that he can build in structure for himself. If he doesn't, you may want to consider someone else, or you might want to be around more to keep him on track.
Another quality essential to the success of your salespeople is their ability to be relational. They need to be able to form bonds with clients and to care about what happens to those clients. The care and concern has to be genuine. You don't want your salespeople to come across like the stereotypical used car salesman. Being relational also shouldn't mean your salespeople are whooping it up in the office; their activities should be built around bringing in new customers, not having fun with the staff.
The final quality that's absolutely essential for your salesperson is integrity. Your customers need to be able to trust your salesperson with thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars worth of work and perhaps more. Your salespeople's integrity and trustworthiness needs to be beyond reproach. And, let's face it, you need to be able to trust them as well. They need a stellar background and an absolutely clean history.
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Whoever you choose as your sales rock star, you would do well to follow the guidelines set out for you here. Don't compromise, and you'll be able to select real winner for your business.
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