5 Traits of Highly Successful Salesmen

Great article from Inc. 

Highly successful salespeople cultivate the following five emotional traits:

1. Assertiveness

This allows you to move a sales situation forward without offending or frustrating the customer. Think of it as being located halfway between passivity and aggressiveness. For example, suppose a customer is delaying a decision. There are at least three basic responses:

Passive: “Could you give me a call when you’ve made a decision?”

Aggressive: “If you don’t buy right now, the offer is off the table.”

Assertive: “Can you give me a specific time and date when you’ll make your final decision?”

2. Self-Awareness

You need to be able to identify your own emotions, understand how they work, and then use them to help you build stronger customer relationships. This is a four-step process:

  • Identify the emotions that you’re feeling,
  • Based on experience, predict how those emotions will affect your sales effort.
  • Compensate for negative emotions that might hinder the sale.
  • Expand your positive emotions that might help you make the sale.

For example, suppose you feel furious that an important customer stood you up. You might take a break before your next meeting in order to remind yourself of all the times you’ve succeeded in the face of challenges. Or you might, as an ice-breaker, tell your second customer that you’re having a tough day and why.

3. Empathy

This entails adapting your behavior to the customer’s moods and emotions. It begins with listening and observing, but simply knowing what the customer might be feeling is not enough. You must be able to feel what the customer is likely to be feeling.

Suppose, during a sales call, you discover that the customer’s firm just announced major layoffs. You could ignore the news and proceed with the sales call as if nothing had changed, or you could focus on your own desire to make the sale and ask your contact who will have buying authority after the layoffs are over.

4. Problem Solving

The desire to solve a problem helps you create new ways to satisfy the customer’s needs, both financial (the ROI of your offering) and emotional–such as the customer’s need to be convinced that your and your firm are reputable and reliable. Problem solving is a four step process:

  • See the customer situation as it really is. (Never try to solve a problem before you fully understand it.)
  • Help the customer visualize a more desirable situation.
  • Devise a way to move the customer from the ways things are today to the way the customer would like them to be.
  • Communicate that solution in a way that makes it easy for the customer to make a decision.

While those steps might seem obvious, they’re the exact opposite of old-school salesmanship, where selling entails “giving a great sales pitch.”

5. Optimism

Optimism helps you maintain a sense of balance when things go awry. It proceeds directly from the (often unspoken) rules that you use to interpret daily events. For example, if the first sales call of the day goes poorly, your performance for the rest of the day will be different if you have this rule…

A bad first call means that I’m off my game this will be a bad day.

… rather than this rule:

Every sales call is different, so the next will probably be better.

Note that both rules are arbitrary responses to the same event, and neither is more “realistic” than the other. Even so, if you automatically jump to the first rule, rather than the second, it will be difficult for you to remain happy.

This principle works on bigger events, too. I’ve run into about a dozen top salespeople who saw the weak economy as an opportunity to sell even more,and did so, while their colleagues were busy hand-wringing.

In future columns, I’ll explain how to cultivate these traits in your day to day life, so stay tuned.


3 Word of mouth tips for retailers., via @davidmerzel’s BLOG

Interesting reading from gaspedal : “3 Word of mouth tips for retailers”Whether you’re a one-location store or a national retail chain, you can have amazing word of mouth. How to get started:

1. Give them something to share
Never let a customer walk out the door without offering them something to share. Think practical — like coupons, catalogs, and samples. But also try the fun stuff, like stickers, posters, pins, and buttons.

2. Give them a reason to bring a friend
You’re doing all that work to get a customer in the door — with just a little more effort, maybe you could get their friends too. Events like REI’s evening and weekend classes or the group rides that local Harley-Davidson dealerships coordinate are great at this. And don’t forget the classics — things like group discounts and multiple coupons that have to be used at the same time.

3. Give them the chance to leave a review
Too often the only way for a customer to leave feedback for a retailer is to go online and post a negative review. Head off that negative word of mouth and encourage more happy customers to leave reviews by making it really easy. Give out lots of feedback and comment forms — and don’t forget that checkbox that says, “Yes, I give permission to use my comments in your marketing materials.”

So What ? How to communicate what really matters to your audience [book]

Great reading !

Every time you make a sales presentation… craft a resume… try to persuade anyone about anything… there’s one question you simply must answer: SO WHAT?

 That’s what the people you’re talking to care about. That’s what they need to know. Tell them that — quickly, convincingly, powerfully — and watch them respond by saying, “I love it, I want it, and I’ll buy it.” Knowing this is one thing. Doing it — that’s something else altogether. In this book, Mark Magnacca shows you exactly how to do it — every single time.

In this book you will discover how to :

  • Refocus on your audience and stay focused on them automatically — Master the new communication habits that can supercharge your effectiveness.
  • The “So What Test”: What it is and how to use it — How to make sure everything you say matters to the people you’re talking to.
  • Create your own “So What Positioning Statement” — Don’t just differentiate yourself — make yourself fascinating
  • Not all benefits are created equal — Focus on the benefits that make the deepest emotional connection
  • From George Lucas to Steve Jobs to Ronald Reagan — Practical, usable lessons from the world’s greatest communicators.

To know more on this book, visit http://sowhatbook.com/#home

3 Most stupid Tips, you can do to a customer !

very good article (Blog by Scott R. Sheaffer) on  the most stupid thinks you can do to a customer

Sales Tips Blog by Scott R. Sheaffer

– Threatening To Escalate

– Making The Buyer Feel Stupid

– Questions With An Agenda

To sum-up Finesse is the art of delicacy, subtlety and skill.

As sales professionals, we undoubtedly need to ask customers tough questions and sometimes make them a little uncomfortable to move the sales cycle forward.

If we’re smart and want results, we’ll do it with finesse.

So, Never put a customer in a situation where they feel they’ve been backed into a corner. You’ll always lose.