What Is The Ideal Sales Person?
The ideal natural-born salesman has certain traits that I think we can all agree on:
- Quick thinking
- Smooth talking
- Huge personality
- An outgoing personality
In fact, according to the Dale Carnegie Training of West Virginia, one of the six traits of a successful salesperson is:
..Competitive And Team Driven…there’s no “I” in “team,” …great salespeople not only know this, but they are also fierce competitors who know how to win…After all, the greatest victories are the ones that are shared.
While some great salespeople are like that, some aren’t, and if your core personality is not outgoing. You can’t comfortably work a room, and you’re not especially charismatic; you might think there is no room for you in a sales career.
I have to disagree with that assessment.
Can An Introvert Be A Salesperson?
As Mathew Pollard, author of The Introvert’s Edge: How the Quiet and Shy Can Outsell Anyone, point out in his book:
- Sales is a skill anyone can learn
- Anyone can create a sales process
Pollard believes those facts demonstrate introverts (the personality type that Carl Jung classified in a way that I will paraphrase as “inwardly focused”) may even make the best salespeople.
The world is full of both personality types, and the idea that one is better than the other in any activity is incorrect.
Introverts may, however, be able to examine their process better and find room for improvement than the gregarious, big-personality salesperson can.
While generalized, the natural-born salesperson depends on his personality to make the connection and close the sale. He naturally knows when he has a connection and asks for the sale so smoothly that the prospect starts throwing money at him begging to buy what he’s selling.
Except when it doesn’t work that way. Sometimes things go wrong, and the sale isn’t made. In those cases, the outgoing and charismatic salesperson is often heard saying some variation of the following:
- We couldn’t connect.
- He was a hard nut to crack.
- The customer had unrealistic expectations.
- The customer wasn’t a buyer; he just wanted a brochure (getting a quote/getting information, etc.)
- The customer must have had nothing better to do today; he was just here to waste my time.
Excuses like this tell me that the salesperson needs a defined sales process and may analyze it to discover where things went wrong.
Sell With A Process to Fix What’s Broken
Anyone who knows me or has read any of my writings knows that I believe in a solidified sales process.
If you have a prospect in front of you, the best sales process is:
- Needs Discovery / Rapport Building
- Product Selection
- Trade Evaluation (If appropriate)
- Price Presentation
- Close The Sale
Each major step in the sales process has nuances and subsections vital to sales success, such as value building, soft closes, action closes, objection resolution, and others, which are also learned skills.
Using a sales process that you, as a salesperson, can manage helps you know what stage you’re at any time throughout the sale.
The non-natural-born salesperson needs structure. He needs to understand what’s next. He needs the proverbial roadmap to get to the final destination. And this is great. The sales process gives anyone the ability to sell anything. It gives anyone the ability to understand the why and how of the selling.
Say, for example, that the salesperson can’t connect with the prospect. The beginnings of connecting are found in the greeting and rapport building. A salesperson following a process has the tools to recognize that and find sales one on one training that will help him add more quality rapport-building questions to his repetiteur and skillfully use them with a goal in mind.
If the salesperson is getting to the point where he is presenting the price but is consistently struggling with closing the sale, he needs to work with someone to find where the skill deficiency exists.
Who Is To Blame If You Can’t Sell?
In my experience, someone who considers himself a natural-born salesperson blames the customer if he can’t make the sale. If a salesperson who depends on a process cannot make the sale, he can examine the process, make corrections and approach the next customer with these new skills.
Introverts are, as stereotypes go, often hesitant to get coaching. They are learners, and in my experience try to fix the problem internally. They fear the Tony Robbins or Grant Cardone style of coaching, where they are taught that the extrovert ideal is the only way to be a salesperson.
Please don’t believe it. Find a coach who teaches a process and understands your gifts.