What Qualities Do Top-Performing Sales People Have?

May 14, 2018 Matthew Cook

There are many sales people in the world. Selling is an art to some, while others manage to get by on numbers and brute force. Some selling methods are definitely better than others, and the way professional sales people use them definitely makes the difference between a skilled professional and a mediocre performer.

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But beyond skills, what is it about a top-performing sales person that makes him or her so? What qualities do these top performers share? What is it about them that makes clients trust them with their business?

Here are some of those qualities and how top-performing sales people use them to great effect when selling.


Understanding the Modern Buyer

Selling products and services isn’t the same today as it was fifty years ago; the internet didn’t even exist fifty years ago! (Well, not as we know, love, and use it today.) Buying, and thus selling, were very different back then. Top performers understand this and allow their skills to evolve with the times because they know the key to success lies in understanding the modern buyer.

The modern buyer is savvy, technological, and knowledgeable. Thanks to the internet, it’s just too easy to do research on a product not to. That means interested buyers, long before talking with a sales rep, already know tons of information about your product. If they’re talking to a rep, they don’t need the basics—they want the more advanced information. They want to see the product in action, they want personalized recommendations, they want answers to questions they can’t find online. They want specifics.

Top performers get straight to what the customer needs, while subtly discerning what the problem a client has that their product will overcome. Then, they focus on solving the customer’s problem.


Relationship Building

If selling is one part identifying a problem that needs to be solved, the second part is relationship building. No one walks into a store expecting to become best friends with the sales rep; however, feeling that you can trust the person, their company, and their product is important. That’s the difference between a common professional seller and the top performers.

Top performers know they’re working on a relationship with every interaction. They spend time practicing active listening skills. They treat a client as a person first, someone they want to help out. Sure, they never forget they are trying to make a sale but they also know the only way that’s going to happen in the 21st century is to treat the person with the problem with respect.

Top performers know this is just as important at all stages, from prospecting and lead nurturing to closing.


Digital/Social Selling

The world is digital. If anyone wants to get ahead as a professional seller, then he or she must learn to sell digitally—this also means learning to do it on social media. Approximately three billion people are on social media across the globe; that’s almost half the population!

Top performers know that their market will be on social media and on the internet, somewhere. Learning to be an active member of these communities, to be a part of the research process, is important to hooking prospective clients’ attention, drawing them in, building a solid relationship, and laying the groundwork for a sale.

When it comes to closing a sale in the 21st century, top performers know the three prongs they must understand: the modern day buyer, building relationships, and the digital/social world. By embracing and leveraging these three elements, they soar past their colleagues to be incredibly successful professional sellers.


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