Becoming a professional salesperson is one of the most intriguing, promising, and fulfilling jobs you can have. However, the sad truth is that only a few salespeople get to become the best of the best in the sales niche. Most salespeople wallow at the bottom rung of the latter simply because they don’t know how to up their game. And to be more precise, the top 20% of sales professionals control 80% of sales. Yes, the Pareto principle applies to sales too!
But why is it so difficult for many sales professionals to reach the apex of the sales pyramid? Why do many people work so hard but have only little results to show for it? Well, it’s because being a salesperson is one of the most unpredictable jobs on the planet. And daily, salespeople face one of the greatest fears of humankind – rejection!
Although the fear of rejection is so powerful, it doesn’t have to be paralyzing. And while some salespeople quit, some others lose their sales morale, and a faithful few go on to become the top 1% of all sales professionals. The successful few know how to turn many “NOs” into “Yeses.” Stay with me, and I’ll show you what I mean.
This article is definitely for you if you want to join the top 1% of all the sales professionals. The “secret” of the leading salespeople will no longer be a secret to you. Read further and learn how to build your sales career and make a name for yourself!
The Role of Sales in Any Business
Making sales is indispensable to the success of any business. Whether a business is into goods or services, it must sell to survive! Since sales is the core of any business you can think of, one must learn to sell to maintain the core. Here are a few roles of sales in business.
Business Growth: Without sales, there can be no growth. Making sales and landing deals is the primary source of income for most companies. So, when there is an increase in sales, a business will grow and expand without holding back.
Customer Retention and Referrals: Making sales helps a business meet new customers and interact with them on many levels. While most customers tend to be on-off buyers, a good salesperson turns most customers into frequent buyers. And not only that, they make these customers become advocates for their business! These customers will then inform their friends and family about your product. And before you know what hit you, your business will become a household name!
Product/Service Improvement: You can’t know how well your product or service fares in the real world if you don’t sell to customers and have them give you feedback on the products/services. This is why you must go all out to make sales to as many customers as possible. All great salespeople understand this and therefore meet more people than average. And they don’t stop there – they ask for specific feedback on the product/service after some time.
Ten Qualities of a Good Salesperson
Now that you have known the importance of sales to any business, I’ll like to show you ten qualities that every good salesperson must have. To become a successful salesperson – the top 1% – there are habits you must cultivate. Here are ten qualities you must have to become a good salesperson.
Confidence: Good salespeople are confident. They trust in their ability to sell anything. Confidence is an important trait that helps others trust you. When you appear and talk confidently, people will believe you. So, don’t be afraid to express yourself when you have to sell. Remember two things: one; if you don’t sell, you will not eat! And secondly, if you start with confidence, you have won even before you start.
Networking Skills: The top 1% of sales professionals are great networkers. And as Porter Gale wrote, “your network is your net worth.” When you network, you invest in your sales career. The more you meet people, the greater your chances of advertising your products or services. And the more people you promote to, the higher the number of sales you’re likely to make.
Resilience: Usually, things may not start as smoothly as you expect. Except you’re a natural salesperson, you’ll have to start by closing one sale for every ten people you meet. And according to the legendary Jim Rohn, when you get better, you can close four deals for every ten people you meet.
Good Listening Skills: Good salespeople don’t do all the talking. They listen well to what their customers want and what complaints they have. To be a good salesperson, you must be an active listener and make customers feel important.
Honesty: Don’t expect loyal customers if you can’t provide honest service. When people discover you are truthful, they build confidence in you and even refer you to their friends and family.
Enthusiasm: Enthusiasm is a light that reflects in the face of your customer. It’s a magnet that attracts them to you. According to Napoleon Hill, spoken words without enthusiasm are often ineffective. The most successful salespeople aren’t necessarily the most knowledgeable about a product. Instead, they are those who infuse what they know with enthusiasm!
Competitiveness: Good salespeople are aware that there are other products or services out there. Therefore, they don’t just sell their best but also make sure that they are the best out of all salespeople in their industry.
Creativity: Good salespeople think creatively. They focus their thoughts on value creation which makes them find better means of driving sales.
Ability to conduct proper research: Good salespeople don’t just wake and get into sales. They do the necessary research such as market surveys and then make their sales pitch from that.
Tech Savvy: The 21st century salesperson must take advantage of the latest technology and social media trends. In essence, he must be socially and technically inclined. One-on-one sales strategy can only take you this far. But when you leverage the internet and meet millions of people at a time, you can imagine what that will do to your business.
The Difference Between Sales and Marketing
Now that we have discussed the ten qualities that the top 1% of sales professionals have, we must distinguish between sales and marketing. Not many people know the differences between sales and marketing. And some even use it interchangeably. If you are a successful salesperson, you must know the differences. Sales and marketing don’t mean the same thing. Here are the subtle differences.
Marketing defines all the processes involved in raising awareness and stimulating all potential customers’ interest in the goods or services being sold. Marketing often focuses on the general public. Marketing promotes the company’s brand and value and focuses on elucidating how their products/services work.
On the other hand, sales refer to the activities that lead to selling goods or services. It focuses on a particular subgroup of individuals at a time. Its main goal is usually to meet the company’s sales goal or target and generate immediate revenue for the business.
The Different Types of Sales Jobs
Business Developers: Business developers deal with finding the appropriate market segment that fits a company’s product. Their roles are to identify new business opportunities, leads, pitches, etc. They also seek the establishment of new products and communicate them to potential customers.
Growth Hackers: Growth hackers create strategies and plan to acquire and retain customers so that the businesses grow. They focus on finding low-cost strategies that optimize business opportunities for the company.
Enterprise Salespeople: Enterprise sales are also called complex sales. It’s the kind of sales made by large business organizations. The decision-making process usually involves two or more people, and the deals could take a long time. Enterprise sales occur in businesses purchasing a large contract of goods or services.
Account Managers: Account managers are responsible for overseeing individual salespeople. They focus mainly on retaining new and old clients, and they look out for business opportunities.
Sales Managers: Sales managers are responsible for planning and developing strategies to meeting sales targets for a set period. They are responsible for how sales progress and work hand in gloves with other sales teams.
Building A Career in Sales
A sales career is like art – you must work on it every day to become the top 1%. If excellence is what you want, you must fully commit yourself to the culture and qualities of being a good sales professional. While almost anyone can be in sales, not all can or will give it all it takes to make it to the top of this promising career. Here are five golden steps to build a career in sales.
Build a network and enlarge it gradually
Build yourself, your communication skills, and resiliency
Build your CV and cover letter.
How to Carve A Niche and Become Known as A Top Salesperson?
With commitment and perseverance, you can achieve whatever you want. The top 1% are not gods; they got the right knowledge and paid the price! After you have built a sales career, you should follow these six principles to rise to the top.
Think and act for long term
Manage and invest your time judiciously
Avoid sure distractions and focus on one thing at a time
Believe in yourself and your product or service
Think of rejections as opportunities
Don’t ever quit.
If you have read through this article, you have the right knowledge to become the top 1% of all sales professionals. Practice! Practice! Practice! Good luck!