Being a sales man or a sales personality in your field is one of the most tough job nowadays due to the number of rejections a sales guy faces on a daily basis. Add the targets that he has, and you land up with a person who is expected to handle a lot of pressure with little or no thanks from the company. Why little or no thanks? Because it is his job to take pressure and give results. That is why a special personality is needed in sales.
Selling was started after the industrial revolution, when companies found that they need to push their products better then the competitors. This was to ensure that the customer bought your products over competitors. These sales people were expected to cold call and close customers, through any means possible. Thus, several times wrong selling or too much push took place, due to which, over the years, the sales job began to face rejections from customers.
Overall, when you are hired for a job which is tabooed by most of the industry, then you need to have special qualities of your own to manage the job. Thus, you need to develop your own sales personality. Remember that sales guys are the most highly appreciated when they are at the top of their game. The top sales people are the most in demand and they get the most incentives as well. Thus, the 10 factors which define a strong sales personality are.
1) Empathetic – A top sales personality will always be empathetic to the people around him. Sales is dependent on various support functions and you need to be empathetic to each of them when the need comes. Moreover, the most empathy needs to be shown to the customer when he is trouble. If you are not empathetic, the customer will never return to your brand or to you.
2) Communications – A sales person needs to be very clear and precise in his communications. As a sales personality, you have many different people to co ordinate with. At times you will be a communicator of values to the customer and at other times, you will be a communicator of problems to your higher up. Both the scenarios – escalations and personal selling, are scenarios where sales person needs to be clear in communicating his ideas or thoughts.
3) Determination – Day in and day you are under pressure to give results. On top of that, you need to continously search for new customers, convince them to buy the product and maintain relations with them. Thus, in general, the going is tough for a sales person. Therefore, it takes a special sales personality who will be determined no matter what. Field work, follow ups, rejections are points which can demotivate anyone easily. A company always expects a sales personality to be determined in doing his or her work.
4) Self Discipline – Nothing can be achieved if you do not have discipline. And in business as well as in sales, there is hardly any watch kept over you. Most companies nowadays give an independent hand to sales person, where sales person are allowed to work as they like. They just have to give results. Same is for entrepreneurs as well. No one is watching both of them. At such times, self disciple comes in handy. Because results will come only when you work even though no one is watching you.
5) Ability to handle pressure – As discussed in the above points, at one point you are pressured for achieving targets, whereas on the other hand you have to manage the problems. At the same time, you have to handle rejection from customers and also take the load of any support function not performing properly. In general, from all directions you can expect pressure. Thus, the primary factor that is expected from a sales personality is ability to handle sales pressure.
6) Hard + Smart working – No sales guy can reach far with just hard work. And none of them can reach far only with smart work. For having the optimum sales personality, you need to balance hard and smart work. You need to target smartly, but then you need to work hard to convert the targets to customers. Thus, the combination of hard and smart work is killer and the best sales guys have a combination of both up their sleeves.
7) Flexible (Adaptable) – It is very common in sales for last minute hickups. A customer who is just about to handover a cheque might change his mind at the last moment and skew your sales figures. A customer who was going to give the order has put another one of his requests where he needs special consideration.
In all these cases, a sales person needs to be flexible. His target can drop suddenly and he has to bounce back from this situation. Or he has to go back to the company and revise the product / plan by going out of his way for the customer. A good sales personality will not let such issues hold him or her back. He will be flexible and will adapt as per the customer or the situation.
8) Passionate – You wont reach far if you are not passionate about sales. There is a very common saying that “The principle of rocket and sales is the same. Both work when their ass is on fire”. However, this is not true of a good sales personality. Good sales guys will be proactive and not leave things to the last moment. This is the best method to perform beyond expectations at all times.
9) Convincing – Well, there are two times you have to be very convincing if you are a sales guy. One is when you have to convince the customer to buy the product. The second is when you have to convince the boss when sales is not happening. Trust me, both the times you are expected to be very convincing. Thus, this is a key trait required in a good sales personality. (P.s – you better convince customers more then your bosses, else you are in a soup)
10) Calculative – A good sales person is calculative by his very nature. If you are going to face pressure at all times, then you need to be calculative enough to know when to relax. Most sales people forecast sales in such a manner that at times they are very keyed up whereas at times they are relaxed. Most sales people, by experience know when they are going to achieve their targets or times when they can relax without taking tension of sales. Such a calculative behavior is most times encouraged in sales as this means that you will be calculative when deciding your targets as well. The better the calculation, the better the results.
Thus, overall there are many factors which make the best sales personality. Each of the industries in the market will have a requirement of a different kind of knowledge and different kind of presentation. A hospitality industry will be very different from FMCG or channel sales. But the basic characteristics or traits of a good sales personality will remain the same across these sectors.