3. Are you a brilliant strategist?
Face time with a decision maker is hard to come by. You must have a precise strategy for how to make the best use of each phone call or meeting. Even before you get on the phone for the first time, you must know what points will grab the interest of that particular prospect. Before you show up for your first face-to-face meeting, you must have a strategy for gaining that prospect’s trust. Then you must have a strategy for justifying it. Without a clear strategy at every turn, you will be tuned out by your prospect and eaten alive by your competition.
4. Are you a courageous fighter?
The toughest part of sales is getting face time with the decision maker. Blocking your way will be an army of underlings and a myriad procedures all calculated to make people like you simply go away and preserve the cozy status quo. It takes a true fighter to know this and yet keep pushing into the lion’s den.
5. Are you a poet?
No matter how much intelligence you gather about your prospect, no matter how thoroughly you have outlined the benefits of your product or service, it’s often wasted unless you have the sensitivity and empathy to put yourself into the heart and mind of each prospect. Only by demonstrating that you are completely down with their grandest dream and smallest concern can you earn a prospect’s trust. Without that trust you are out in the cold.
6. Are you the best listener you know?
If discipline is the backbone of sales, the ability to listen is its heart. Everything you do until that meeting has been geared toward earning your prospect’s trust so he will tell you his hopes and fears. At that point nothing matters as much as your ability to shut up and listen with undivided attention. If you listen well, you will know exactly what your prospect needs to hear in order to place an order.
7. Do you love helping others?
Even when she does everything right, a good salesperson encounters more rejection in one week than most people do in a year. The only thing that can preserve a winning attitude day in and day out is to be driven by a deeply felt desire to help others. You approached the prospect because you felt that your product would help his business. Even when you don’t persuade him today, you hope to help him in the future. Only this unshakeable commitment to helping others can sustain a successful sales career over the long haul.
8. Do you need control over your own success?
Only those who have seen their hard work going to waste, going unrewarded or even being punished can fully appreciate the beauty of a sales career. In most jobs success and failure turn on the highly subjective perception of superiors. In sales success is relatively clear-cut. If you exceed your quota or sell more than everyone, you are a success. For many the clarity and simplicity of this yardstick is the best feature of a sales career.
9. Do you enjoy spending money more than most?
A great salesperson sees the money she earns through sales success as more than a yardstick; it’s a tribute to the trust she inspires in other people. That gives her an unusually deep appreciation of what money can buy and the desire to share that appreciation by buying what others are selling. If you take special pleasure in earning and spending money, you have the generosity of spirit that is so well rewarded in a sales career. Prev
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