How do you know when you’ve found an exceptional sales representative to hire at your small business? Maybe you were sold by their resume and list of accomplishments in previous positions. Perhaps their soft skills caught your attention.
In the best case scenario, however, the most talented salespeople are a triple threat.
They have proven experience in the field, are naturals at building relationships, and exhibit unique characteristics. These qualities allow them to get the job done well and for the business to succeed — a win-win for everyone.
There are so many traits that define talented sales reps. If I wrote them all down, this post would never end! However, only a handful of characteristics take it to the next level and allow salespeople to go from good to great. Think you know what they are?
The next time you look to hire a sales representative, keep an eye out to see if they exhibit any (or all) of these five traits.
There is one trait a salesperson must possess before they start to build a rapport with a client or try to sell them on products or services. They have to be knowledgeable.
This means they possess knowledge about the industry they’re in, the company they work for and its products and services, and what they do within their role. They’re never satisfied to understand the bare minimum. Knowledgeable sales reps will continue to keep pushing themselves to learn all they can. This can be likened to acting like a sponge. They are willing to soak up new information, understand what it means, convey it to the customer, and keep coming back for more.
The most talented sales representatives do not need, or want, micro management. “Eyes on the prize” is their daily mantra. They are full of drive, willing to go the distance to reach their goals.
What drives successful salespeople? While motives differ for everyone, much of it may boil down to a sense of self. Sales reps have to be self-motivated because what they do is not easy. It takes a lot of focus, persistence, and determination, day in and day out. This goes back to the “eyes on the prize mantra.” It’s a reminder of why they got into this line of work and what drives them forward to do, and be, the best.
A talented salesperson doesn’t need to be dressed the most flashy, but they should be naturally confident. This kind of confidence should translate well across all mediums, from sending emails to a client to a phone call with a prospective sale.
Why does confidence matter? Sales reps speak to many people throughout the course of a day, and must make a great first impression. They’re also careful not to fall victim to the idea that the best foot forward should only be with “important clients.” Talented sales reps are confident, certainly, but they also know to treat one and all with respect.
4. Good listeners
A conversation is a two-ended street. Someone speaks, the other listens, and vice versa. If two people are talking and no one is listening, how you have a better understanding of their needs? Good sales reps know how to talk to virtually anyone, but great salespeople listen and listen well.
This is something I talk about all of the time with my team and it never stops being true. Ultimately, great salespeople stand out not because of traditional intelligence or hard work. It’s because they have grit.
Grit is actually a combination of persistence, passion, and resilience. When the chips are down, you stay up. Grit is the will to do something better than before. Sales reps that reveal they have gritty personalities reveal how far they’re willing to go to get to the end game. They may try and fail to get there and figure out how to react when things don’t go their way.
Above all, they never stop wanting to be the best that they can be. Grit — as well as knowledge, drive, confidence, and listening — makes this possible. These five characteristics do more than allow you to root out the great sales reps from the good ones when you decide to hire. They help you find the real star players for your business.