Extraordinary salespeople train themselves everyday to overcome the fear of striking out in their pursuit to acquire or retain a client. To be a great salesperson you need to achieve an iron mental toughness that will help you ignore all the instances in which the word “no” arises in your pursuit for that amazing “yes”. From what I’ve seen during my career as a business owner, there are 5 main traits every great salesperson possesses.
First of all, a sales professional has the achiever mentality. If you didn’t know, salespeople were the ones that invented the use of game mechanics within the work environment. Whether it’s leaderboards, the President’s Club or other special incentives, salespeople have been using them for decades now. This is extremely effective if you consider that every salesperson cares a great deal about winning. Achievement equals money, so that should be the primary motivation of a great salesperson. They crave money, but they also want the thrill to win (something like winning the lottery) and to have their merits recognized by their peers.
Moreover, they have like an aura which a friend of mine (coincidentally a salesperson) prefers to call the reality distortion field. He says that awesome sales reps will never get flustered. You could pretty much say that they have the Zen mentality to allow them to focus on the task at hand while also emanating a calm and confidence aura. In the 1980s, the development team over at Macintosh used the term “reality distortion field” to describe the charisma of Steve Jobs.
Furthermore, most extraordinary salespeople are control freaks. According to the National Institute of Statistics, the average tenure of a VP of Sales is 18 months. The main reason why it’s not 24 or even 36 months is that at some point in time they will get surprised by a missed forecast and will not have the necessary time to backfill that lost deal. That is the main reason as to why great salespeople will obsess over every detail of every contract ever drawn up. In addition, they even go as far as doing dress rehearsal meetings. Plus, they also hate to be surprised. And the best way to reduce the chance of that happening is by focusing on every little detail of the process.
While this may be perceived as a stereotype, salespeople are fiercely loyal. Back in the day, people thought that all they did was filling their pockets with the money of the customers. Yes, while this may still apply today in the case of some bad sales reps, the opposite applies for those amazing salespeople. Moreover, they are extremely loyal both to their customers and to their colleagues and they will go out of their way to fix any problems that may bring a peace of mind to the customer. Should anything go wrong after a sale, sales reps will work on their behalf to fix the situation.
Almost all salespeople are optimists. One of the toughest things they have to do is survive that nagging emotional roller-coaster of winning and losing deals. However, that optimism becomes balanced by means of a healthy dose of paranoia. When they close a deal, great sales reps will always ask themselves in what way can this deal go south. Therefore, they prepare for every possible scenario they could imagine. In most cases, they write down the ways in which they could lose the sale and also their solution to reduce the risk of that actually happening.
Mental toughness is only half the battle. If you’re capable of hearing and accepting 100 no’s in a row, maybe, just maybe that 101 call will be the yes you so desperately crave. Then, you are on your path to become a great salesperson. And by possessing these five characteristics, you will be able to get there way faster.