I’m often asked what makes a good salesperson. It’s obvious, isn’t it? Great salespeople are likeable, respectable, not up themselves, positive, persistent, skilled communicators, great with facts, persuasive with figures and ambitious team players. Plus, you need an element of dynamism and cynicism. Shall I continue? They are tough but caring, flexible but strong, and it helps if they have good product with relevant short-term proposals and a long-term plan for profit generation. Got all that? I’ll make it simpler: it boils down to having the right knowledge, skills and attitude.
Woah there! Attitude? Watch out, the HR police are circling… The problem with attitude is this: how do you define a positive or bad attitude? Surely if you think someone’s attitude is bad, that’s just because it’s not yours. Well, I don’t agree with the politically correct stuff on this. The best salespeople achieve the best results consistently, by the way they set and drive to achieve goals. Without the right attitude, it will not happen. The skills can be trained, as can the knowledge, hilt without the attitude you’ve just got a lurasales bunny’ — no initiative.
I see a lot of ‘high-maintenance’ salespeople. They are a time-consuming pain in the rear end. Positive intention helps a lot. But attitude is not just about being happy-clappy and chirpy. Have you ever seen kids learning martial arts? They stand in line reciting a code of honour. They promise to show courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit. I like it! It really helps me get a handle on the meaning of positive attitude. Courtesy and integrity are obvious. Self-control is necessary, especially with the buyers we face. Perseverance is the ability to pursue a goal and never give up until it is achieved. The one! love is indomitable spirit. It is the fuel that keeps perseverance going. Indomitable spirit means having a positive and focused state of mind Nothing is going to get in the way of your goals — unconquerable, and unyielding.
Strength does not come from saying no. Instead of saying no to a deal because it’s not perfect, make the deal, then strive relentlessly to improve on it. Great salespeople get consistently strong results. Consistency comes with attitude.