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Posted by: Matthew Cook

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Sales is a highly competitive field to be in, and as the manager of the sales team, you know not everyone is cut out to succeed here. You’ll have some superstar performers, while almost everyone else will run in the middle of the pack. There will, of course, be a few people who fall at the other extreme.

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As you hire for your team, you likely look for certain traits and skills. What are the qualities of a good salesperson?

Good salespeople tend to be confident and competitive. They’re driven to get results, but they’re also resilient. They don’t dwell too much on their failures, choosing instead to focus on the wins. They’re also empathetic and good listeners. You might even call them charismatic. They have an innate ability to talk to almost anyone and to connect with people.

Not everyone has these traits. The good news is most of them can be developed. Your salespeople can start improving their performance quickly and easily just by incorporating these four things into their daily routines.


1. Practice Active Listening

If your salespeople are looking for ways to improve quickly and easily, ask them to practice their active listening skills. Many people think they’re good listeners, and salespeople especially pride themselves on their listening skills.

Not everyone listens actively. If your reps are thinking about the sale or the pitch, then they’re not actively listening to the customer.

Active listeners give the speaker their full and undivided attention. They’re able to repeat back the client’s concerns in their own words. They ask questions and ask for clarification.

Why is this important? It means your salespeople are actually listening to your customers and their concerns. With their focus in the right place, they can then make better suggestions and support the client.


2. Prepare Ahead of Time

Your sales team is likely busy enough, but does that mean they’re scrambling when they go into meetings with potential clients? If so, it’s time to put emphasis on preparation, whether they’re selling over the phone or in person.

If your salespeople are always heading into meetings with little to no information, or flying by the seat of their pants, they might be fumbling during meetings. This could cost them the prospect.

Someone who prepares beforehand has a good idea of what they’re going to discuss with the client. They are also prepared to listen and discuss concerns and issues in more detail. The more prepared they are for a meeting, the smoother the conversation will be.


3. Manage Their Emotions

As mentioned, good salespeople tend to be resilient. They don’t let the negative get them down, and they prefer to focus on the wins instead. This helps them maintain their confidence, as well as their enthusiasm.

That said, there are times when it can be quite discouraging to be in sales. Maybe someone has a string of losses, or there’s a week where it’s difficult to see the “wins.” It’s easy for a salesperson to lose confidence in themselves.

Your salespeople should be encouraged to manage their emotions with regard to this aspect of sales. You can provide support here, offering training, mindfulness activities, or even support through group meetings.


4. Use a Measurable, Repeatable Process

There’s something to be said for ingenuity in sales, but your salespeople should be encouraged to follow a measurable and repeatable process.

Why? When something works, you can do it again. You can also measure the success in objective numbers. Having the statistics to prove the process is working is different than saying you think it works.

These are simple, everyday things your sales reps can do to improve their performance. If they’re not already doing these things, encourage them to start building these habits now.

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