Sales checklist: The top 7 qualities of an excellent sales professional

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What are the qualities of an excellent sales professional? How do you know if you’ve got what it takes to thrive in the fast-paced sales profession?

As with most jobs today, it requires the ability to read the room (and your customers) in order to make a good impression and provide the best experience possible. Most people assume that an intrinsic competitive drive is the most important element, but emotional intelligence is critical when it comes to doing business today.

Top qualities of an excellent sales professional: A list

1. Patience

It’s not always “always be closing.” A key attribute of making a sale is having the patience to know when to go for the aggressive close versus qualifying a prospect in a way that engages them and understands their requirements.

Professionals who are outstanding at sales adapt their approach, meeting the customer wherever they are on their buying journey. They also know that it’s important to give the client time to think about things and decide what’s best for them. The days of pushing your product just to get the sale when the product isn’t really the best solution for the client are over. Clients need to be able to trust their sales reps, and the only way to build trust is by demonstrating patience over time, continually helping your customer make the optimal decisions for their business.

2. Truthfulness 

Customer centricity is the name of the game for any sales manager. Imposing what you think the customer needs versus what the customer actually needs is a recipe for disaster. While targets are important, you should never misguide the customer. Honesty is paramount.

3. Energetic, not aggressive

We’ve all experienced a hard sell, and felt extremely uncomfortable while it was happening. True sales experts don’t use pressure tactics to make sales. To build relationships you need to have energy and passion for your product or service, and convey this authentically, not aggressively.

4. Resiliency 

The ability to think strategically, plan, and bounce back from failure is what sets apart a sales professional from a sales wannabe. You won’t get the sale every time. But every experience is a stepping stone to success. Learning from previous mistakes and not taking things to heart is what makes a sales team of committed individuals better and better.

5. Appreciate the value of time and keeping promises

Turning up late is a turnoff. Wasting customers time is a turnoff. Not managing your time effectively is a turnoff. Need I say more? Reliability and keeping the promises you make is a huge factor in making the sale and establishing trust, which leads to a lifetime buying relationship.

Being transparent and not misstating what your product offers is something sales experts do to keep interactions ethical and improve trust.

6. Adaptability

Learning to make quick decisions using expertise developed from previous encounters is critical for top performers to make their mark and hit sales targets. Adaptability is a valuable and key trait of top sellers.

7. Communication skills

Finally, a key attribute of a unicorn sales professional is the ability to communicate with clarity and impact, regardless of the situation. Being able to keep your head when others are losing theirs and control your pitch and tone will ensure people think you know your stuff, which makes that plum sale much more likely.

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Marcia Savage
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Marcia Savage

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