How to Become an Excellent Salesperson: 9 Essential Qualities and Skills to Master

The first step is to go from bad to good—merely arriving at a baseline of “good” puts you in a small category of salespeople out there.

You don’t have to be the best salesman or saleswoman who ever lived. Just be genuinely good at what you do. Bring real value to your prospects.

In this video, I’m going to show you how to be a good salesman or saleswoman. Check it out:

Being a successful salesperson requires much more than just making sales. It takes a certain personality skillset and mindset to thrive in this fast-paced career. If you want to become an excellent salesperson, there are several key traits and abilities you need to develop.

In this comprehensive guide we will explore the top 9 qualities and skills that set great salespeople apart. Whether you are just starting out in sales or looking to level up your skills mastering the attributes below will help you crush your quotas and build strong relationships with your customers.

1. Be Delightful

One of the most important qualities in a salesperson is being genuinely pleasant, friendly, and fun to be around. At the end of the day, people love doing business with people they like. Bringing a spirit of delight, positivity, and humor to your customer interactions will make you memorable and put people at ease.

Take a genuine interest in your customers as human beings, not just revenue sources. Ask thoughtful questions, listen attentively, and show care and concern for their unique needs. When you brighten someone’s day with your upbeat attitude, you are building a relationship – not just making a transaction.

2. Be Enthusiastic

To be a top performing salesperson, you need to have a contagious enthusiasm and passion for what you are selling. Clients want to see that you genuinely enjoy your work and believe wholeheartedly in your company’s product or service.

Bring high energy and excitement to every sales presentation, meeting, and interaction. Let your excitement show through your body language, tone of voice, and the creativity you put into your pitches. Enthusiasm is contagious. When clients can sense your passion, it builds credibility and makes them more receptive to learning about how you can add value.

3. Be Analytical

While friendliness and enthusiasm are excellent traits, you also need to demonstrate preparedness and strategic thinking. Research your prospects thoroughly and identify their pain points before your interactions with them. Use data and analytics tools to get insights on challenges they are facing.

Skilled questioning techniques can also help you probe to uncover your prospect’s true needs and goals. Maintain an investigative, consultative mindset instead of just promoting your product. Ask thoughtful questions and intently listen to responses to guide your presentation and personalize your solution.

4. Be Resilient

Sales inevitably comes with rejection, disappointment, and many more “no’s” than “yeses.” The most successful salespeople adopt a mindset of resilience to bounce back from inevitable setbacks. Reframe rejection objectively as a learning experience, not a statement on your worth and abilities.

Persistence and grit come in handy when faced with prospects who play hard to get. Follow up relentlessly to get appointments and keep nurturing leads until you convert sales. With a resilient attitude of learning from failures and trying new approaches, you will achieve more wins in the long run.

5. Be Attentive

Living up to the stereotype of the smooth talking, gift-of-gab salesperson can backfire. You need to balance your natural charm with truly attentive listening skills. Allow your prospect to speak without interrupting. Maintain eye contact, engage with thoughtful nods, and take notes on their challenges and goals.

Demonstrate that the conversation is not just about you and your product. Keep the focus on learning about their pain points so you can properly tailor your solution. Mastering the art of active listening shows prospects your empathy and builds trust.

6. Be Thorough

Successful salespeople leave no stone unturned by being meticulous in their preparation and follow through. Know every detail of your product or service and stay up to date on industry news, competitor offerings, pricing, and promotions. Thorough preparation minimizes surprises and builds confidence in your expertise.

After the sale, maintain that same attention to detail by flawlessly executing on deliverables and providing exceptional support. Follow up with precision and care. Send thank you notes, make reminder calls, and continue nurturing the relationship. Your thoroughness speaks volumes about your work ethic and priorities.

7. Be Empathetic

The stereotype of pushy, self-absorbed salespeople needs to end. The most effective salespeople lead with empathy by putting themselves in their prospect’s shoes. Listen closely to understand their objectives, challenges, and concerns at a deeper level.

Let them know you appreciate their unique situation through your words, tone of voice, and body language. Ask yourself, “If I were in their position, what would I want from a salesperson?” Then embody the answer through compassion and emotional intelligence.

8. Be Confident

While empathy and humility are crucial, you also need to exude confidence in your abilities and value proposition. Back up your confident attitude by mastering your product inside and out. Know the proof points and testimonials that substantiate your claims of value to customers.

Speak with assurance when presenting your solution and avoid hedging statements or tentative language. Confidence paired with listening builds trust and credibility better than either would alone. Your expertise plus understanding of the prospect’s needs is a winning combination.

9. Be Adaptable

Sales masters know that different customers, situations, and stages of the buyer’s journey call for adaptability. While preparation and your sales process are important, you need to know when and how to modify your approach on the fly.

Gauge prospects’ body language and verbal cues to adapt your pitch angle, tone, or pace of the interaction. Adjust your speaking style and emphasis to align with different personality types. Recognize when small talk, humor, technical details, or visionary big picture perspective is appropriate.

With adaptability, you can connect better and progress each sales conversation.

Sales experts harness a versatile mix of inherent traits while also continuously improving their knowledge and abilities. Mastering the soft skills of positivity, listening, and relationship building separates the good from the great. Back up the charm with hard skills like preparation, follow-through, and adaptability.

Use the tips in this guide to audit your strengths and identify areas for improvement. With focus and practice, you can become the sales superstar you aspire to be. Your customers will appreciate your well-rounded skillset, and your career will thrive from success after success.

how to be a good salesperson

Lock in next steps.

At every phase of the sale, you must lock in the next step before ending the current conversation. If you’re just following up on prospects, waiting for them to get back to you, or checking in with them next week, the sale has already fallen apart. You’ve lost complete control of the sale. The only way to control the sales process is by locking in next steps, usually via a calendar invite that the prospect accepts while still talking to you. Keep the sale on track and start to become a truly good salesperson by locking in next steps no matter what.

1 Better sales reps focus on next steps over closing.

how to be a good salesperson

There’s so much pressure in sales to go for the close. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a sales manager, a VP of sales, or the president of a company say, “You’ve got to go for the close. You’ve got to be closing more. My people aren’t closing enough.” But the problem isn’t closing—it’s actually about next steps.

There are certainly some specific situations where there might be a “one-call close” scenario, but for the most part, selling situations are a multi-step process. Whatever your sales process is, don’t worry about the close so much as having established clear next steps every single time you end a conversation with a prospect.

What you want to avoid is following up, or checking back in, or saying something like, “Would it be okay if I called you on Monday to see what your decision is?”

That’s junk. Instead, what you want to do is say something like, “Do you have your calendar on you right now?” Avoid the back and forth and just get something on the books. Locking next steps in the calendar is so much more important than going after some high-pressure close.

5 Tips to Become the BEST Salesperson – Grant Cardone

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