Selling is not only a job, selling is also not only a skill, selling is part of basic human nature. It has been there since the time the humans became civilized. Ever saw children putting a condition of getting candy before they follow you advice? They are trying to sell you their compliance. Humans are born sellers and we all sell everyday. All successful sales person have these 5 traits.
Some of us succeed very well in selling whatever we want to, however some people wonder why they are not able to sell. And by selling here I do not only mean selling a product or a solution. It can be selling yourself in an interview or selling your idea to secure funding for you new venture. So what are the behaviors or trait that you need to develop to sell successfully? Let me list out these five traits of all successful sales persons.
1. Successful sales persons understand WIIFM
It doesn’t matter whether you are selling a product or persuading someone with your idea. Successful sales professionals understand the importance of WIIFM factor. WIIFM stands for ‘What’s In It For Me”. Our human minds have developed over millions of years of evolution surviving all the odds the life has to offer. No matter how much we think that we have gained enough intellect, we often use our ‘crocodile brain’ when we meet a new person. A crocodile brain automatically repulses any new ideas or change to be presice, if we don not have anything that is directly connected to us.
The most successful sales persons often understand this fact and they focus on building WIIFM throughout the conversation.
2. They talk about benefit not feature or advantages
While similar to WIIFM, they are simply very well prepared to highlight the benefits to the customer. They will not say my product or solution has these features, instead they will say this is the problem my product or solution is solving for you. I recommend learning how to use benefit statements in selling.
It is not only about telling someone how you benefit from my offering but also to provide enough evidence or stories to convince them. They are able to build trust. I recommend reading about how to build trust to further learn the skill.
3. Successful sales people know the power of silence
Ever seen an amateur salesperson repeating the same sales pitch again again to try and reinforce their idea into the minds of the customer?
Unfortunately this is not how our brain works. Repeating the same statement again and again actually loses the attention and curiosity of the customer. So the next time you feel an urge to repeat your statement more than once, just remember, you are devaluing your sales pitch. Putting forth your statement and keeping silence for other person to absorb the information is crucial to selling success. During this silence period you encourage the customers to open up.
The exception however is when the other side could not hear or understand the statement. In that case try not to repeat the exact same statement, but rephrase it and speak again. This way your statement still retains it value.
4. They use elevator pitch
Your Elevator Pitch is a way to share your expertise and credentials quickly and effectively with people who don’t know you well or who you have met for the first time. Remember earlier we talk about ‘Crocodile Brain’ and how our brain has been primed to not accept new information easily. Elevator Pitch is one of the ways to overcome this basic human trait and bring new prospects fro sales.
5. Successful sales persons know what they are selling and who they are selling to
This is one of the basic traits all successful sales persons have in them. They are very clear about who their customer are. Also they are very clear about their products or solutions that they are offering, furthermore they are very well prepared with their benefit statements. Handling customer objections also come naturally to them due to their powerful knowledge about their customers and their own products or solutions.
I recommend reading about customer’s buying behavior to understand the nuance of customer buying behavior.
6. They are never afraid to politely say you are wrong
There are often times when the customers are not correct. A novice sales person may agree with the customer due to the unwarranted fear of offending a customer. However a trait most successful sales persons have, is to politely say no or correct their customers when they are wrong. This has far reaching implications for success in any sales role. You know your product, solutions and organization better than most. The onus is on you to correct the customers when they are veering into false realities.
7. Expectation Setting one of the traits all successful sales persons have in common
It is not only important to sell. The even more important is to get repeat sales from loyal customers. One thing that can prevent it from happening is customer expectation. Successful sales persons know how to manage expectations of the customer and lot let them expect something which they can’t offer. The idea is to always try to exceed their expectations. This can only happen when you could manage them in the first place.
Effective selling skills is a combination of multiple skills and some real ground experience. The above mentioned traits will help you self reflect if you often demonstrate these traits or not. It is not to say that only these traits will lead to success in your selling career. However this will definitely help you to know what skills to build. I also strongly recommend reading our complete selling skills guide if you are a sales professional to get all major skills that would lead to a great sales career.
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