Three Values Of Great Salespeople
When asked what makes a great salesperson, people will often cite characteristics such as listening, asking good questions, caring more about the buyer than themselves, building rapport, being likable and handling objections well. All of these qualities can be found in the three values every great salesperson must possess—known as CAP.
In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we'll explain CAP as defined by John Waid, founder of C-3 Corporate Culture Consulting.
Curiosity. Curiosity is the value that drives you to want to know why people are buying something. Why do some salespeople create rabid fans around buying their products and services when others do not? It's because these salespeople add value.
Let's pretend you have a paperclip company that sells plastic paperclips in 10 colors and three sizes. These paperclips are three-times more expensive than others on the market. The first salesperson, Jim, calls on clients and pushes the paperclips. He has yet to meet his sales numbers. The second salesperson, Jenny, goes in asking the business owners questions such as, "How important is organization to you?" "How and why could organization help your business be even better?" "Why is being innovative in business important?" Jenny has learned to sell a simple clip as an organization system and innovation. Jenny is excellent at asking great open-ended questions and listening for the last word to help uncover value for the client in her products. In contrast, Jim is simply pushing paperclips.
Accountability. Accountability is an attitude that exudes success. Think about how much better you could have done in school if you had prepared for every quiz and exam, finished reading and taking notes on every textbook, attended every class and asked for help when you needed it. You might have gone to a better college and possibly had an easier life. Have you ever tried to put together a piece of furniture without first reading the instructions? How long did it take you to build the furniture and how painful was it?
The best salespeople prepare in writing and are meticulous about preparing their territory plans, their meetings with target accounts, their opening client questions and so forth. A sales manager once went on a field ride with one of his sales reps. As they were driving along the manager asked the rep if he had a product catalog. The rep said it was in the back seat. The manager got it and turned to the first page. He asked if the rep had a sample with him of the product pictured. The answer was no, so the manager ripped out the page and threw it out the window saying, "I guess we won't be selling that product today." After going through the exercise several times, he threw the entire catalog out the window. The lesson learned here is that preparation is 90 percent of success and if you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail.
People skills. Is it more important that you like the customer or that the customer likes you? Before you rush to answer the question, think about it a bit. How is the customer going to like you if you do not like them? Having a positive mental attitude and deciding to like everyone for something is a quality that is not only great in sales, but also in life. We spend much of our time interacting with people and if we do not do this well it can cause a lot of heartache. Many of the most successful salespeople create rapport and learn to mirror the behaviors of others for better understanding of their client and themselves. Your ability to create likeability is the first step in creating "trustability." People buy from those they like; make sure you are likable.
Put on your sales CAP daily and you'll begin to see a boost in relationships, in your numbers, and in your satisfaction as a salesperson.
John Waid is the founder of C-3 Corporate Culture Consulting, a keynote speaker and author of Reinventing Ralph. With a specialty and passion for corporate culture, sales and global business, Waid believes culture is the engine that drives companies to better results, higher morale and increased profitability. An active speaker, trainer and subject matter expert, he holds an enduring belief that corporate culture is the key to success for companies.