The 8 Sales Skills of Star Performers
What does it take to be a great salesperson?
For most people images of the snake-skin oil, second-hand car dealer salesman portrayed in the movies pop up. Although those characters do exist, they are mostly figments in the imagination of Hollywood scriptwriters!
The vast majority of sales people are hardworking everyday professionals. They care about their products, their business, and servicing their customers. Ultimately it’s the dedicated sales professionals that consistently hone and practice their craft that succeed and excel in their careers.
The good news is that these skills can be taught and learned. Learning the skills that can lead to sales success simply requires knowing where to start, and looking at the qualities of star performers can set the tone for personal self-improvement.
Here are the most mentioned skills and traits that true star performers have in common:
- Star performers solve problems – Successful sales professionals are always looking to solve problems. They do this by consistently staying up to date with the latest developments in their field, as well as genuinely caring about their customer’s situation. As experts on their product they can immediately identify the needs of their customers and tailor solutions aimed at solving those problems within the framework provided by the customer. Solving problems efficiently is something that customers remember, and respect.
- Star performers value high integrity – Integrity, honesty and genuine caring goes a long way. Great sales professionals never lie to their customers, never sell them anything that they don’t need, and genuinely care about their customer’s situation. This is not always easy, especially when chasing quotas. Professionals resist the urge to oversell. It damages relationships and future prospects with clients. Stick to the important question – “Will this benefit my customer?” Over time, these traits build immense trust and respect amongst customers, which leads to customers listening to the opinions and recommendations of star performers closely.
- Star performers are active listeners – Active listening means attentively listening to customers. Star performers use techniques like re-phrasing customers’ words and repeating it back to them. This builds rapport with customers and ensures that customer needs are not misinterpreted. They also mirror the body language, and tone of voice of their customers’, which is a technique also used by therapists and counselors to establish trust and build rapport with clients.
- Star Performers Are Experts at Self-Motivation – Great sales professionals develop mechanisms to cope with rejection. They never take rejection personally, but reflect on the rejections and what could have been done differently, turning rejection into a useful exercise. They also tend to build healthy pipelines, meaning that they are not overly reliant on one or two deals to make quotas.
- Star Performers Are Always Professional – Star performers value professionalism highly, and always maintain the appropriate level of professionalism. They are reliable, courteous, and always on time. Being dressed for the occasion is also a top priority, and successful salespeople are always looking their best.
- Star Performers Are Entrepreneurs – All star performers think of themselves as business owners. They take full responsibility for the successes and failures of their business units, and are truly invested in the success of the business. They know that selling is only one part of their jobs, and they strive to keep their colleagues happy and informed all the time.
- Star Performers Think Creatively – Star performers identify unchartered territories to grow their business, and they are continually creating novel approaches to secure new business. Creative thinking is one of the greatest assets that a sales professional can have. It allows them to see possibilities before others, which results in massive first mover advantages, and sustained success when the market changes.
- Star Performers Are Experts At Building Networks – Star performers always building networks. They naturally build and foster genuine relationships with as many people as they can, even if those people are not adding to their quotas. They understand that sales is a long game, and that having relationships with as many people as possible is one of the greatest assets to stay in the race.
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