It’s no surprise that great salespeople are goal oriented, great communicators & networkers and have a high degree of persistence. These things are off course important, which is why we wrote a post on how to show employers you have these qualities during a sales job interview. But which other, less obvious qualities do great salespeople possess?
The answer is quite surprising because they seem counter intuitive. You expect great salespeople to be arrogant, aggressive, big picture thinkers who just focus on the sale in front of them. Actually that’s not true. When speaking to sales managers we uncovered some surprising characteristics they see in their best performing salespeople.
3 Surprising Characteristics of Great Salespeople
- Empathetic & Modest
There are plenty of sales people who fit the stereotype of the loud, aggressive and overly pushy sales person. The trouble is, these are most often the most ineffective sales people in any organisation because they annoy and alienate the customer rather than focus on the customers needs. Modest people are good listeners and when they also have empathy they take the time to understand the customers needs and constantly ask – What can I do for you? as opposed to What can I sell you?
During an Interview – Remain confident, but focus your interview answers on customer needs and the effort you put into building relationships and rapport with customers. Also show that you maintain these relationships, not just focus on new customers.
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- Attention to Detail
How many times have you heard customers complain that the salesperson promised them the world just to get the sale and didn’t deliver on their promises. Promising the world may get you one or two sales but it will also be the reason you lose repeat customers if you don’t pay attention to the details.
The best salespeople are almost control freaks when it comes to details. They listen very carefully to what the customers problem is and what they are asking for, take meticulous notes and promise only what they can deliver.
During an Interview – Talk about your meticulous nature and the fact that you understand a satisfied customer will provide referrals and positive word of mouth for your product and company. Focus on what you do to foster good relationships, make your customers feel confident about your ability and how you track details and goals on a daily basis. Don’t be afraid to let your OCD shine through.
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This one was a surprise and yet many sales managers mentioned it as a very important quality. Curious people ask lots of questions and consider problems form more than one angle. Great sales people use make connections with customers by asking them lots of questions. They discover exactly what the customer needs and wants and is well prepared to combat objections.
During an Interview – Ask lots of well thought out questions during the job interview to demonstrate your natural curiosity. Explain that asking your customers lots of probing questions and then listening carefully to their answers is how you truly understand their needs.
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Download Now: Free eBook – Questions You must Ask During A Job Interview
If you have most of the personality traits listed above, a career in sales may not have seemed obvious to you. The truth is, if you are also goal driven, persistent and a great communicator it may just be the perfect career choice for you. If you do decide to give it a try, make sure you are very well prepared for the most common sales interview questions as well as the toughest sales interview questions that will most likely come your way.
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