November 21, 2008

Selling - The Characteristics of Success

It struck me following two conversations yesterday with a sales
manager and a highly experienced and successful CEO that there are a
number of key characteristics to those people who will continue to
sell successfully and those who will continue to struggle. These are
three I noted from my conversations. There are many more but I would
be here all day if I tried to list them all.

1. Sales is a tough profession, sales people who recognise this and
take the good with the bad are the ones that do the business. Don Juan
in Carlos Castaneda's A Seperate Peace puts it well - The difference
between a warrior and an ordinary man is that a warrior sees
everything as a challenge, while an ordinary man sees everything as a
blessing or a curse". The sales people who succeed may not know it but
they are following Don Juan's philiosphy.

2. Sales people who are at the top of their field are the ones who are
always looking to learn, they read, attend sales conferences and are
hard on themselves after sales calls. Some food for thought:

* what was the last sales book you read
* when did you last attend a sales training course
* when did you last ask for frank feedback after a sales call
* have you ever asked a customer/prospective cleint for feedback
after a sales meeting?

Sales people who read and are looking to develop their sales
management skills will sell more.

3. Maybe old school given the new web 2.0 generation that is emerging
but you know what when you are selling complex products you will need
to be willing to build a relationship with the customer. As Brian
Tracy ( says the customer doesn't care how much you
know until they know how much you care. Its worth buying one or two of
Brians' books.

All the best

John -

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