Convincing people to buy things that they’ve never heard of or probably don’t need is not an easy job. While many sales people struggle to get though the process, some can masterfully hook customers and sell products and services with ease. So what does it take to be a great salesperson?

This is a timeless question that has been asked by innumerable marketing students and professionals. The difference between being good and great is actually quite small, and there’s a fine line between the two.

Primarily, the answer involves overcoming your personal constraints – those psychological obstacles that hold you back from taking that decisive extra leap. Of course, there are several other factors involved which can differ depending on the industries in question.

However, regardless of industry vertical, there are some changes that you need to make in yourself if aim to become a great salesperson:

Smile, No Matter What

A smile conveys power and charisma, and can attract buyers you normally wouldn’t have thought of as potential customers. Few people can resist the charm of a genuine smile. It will light up the conversation and involuntarily create a positive reaction in your buyer. Whatever the situation, a salesperson needs to learn how to smile in an authentic and spontaneous manner.

Understand Human Nature

Understanding human nature and human thought processes can be the most complicated of tasks, and a salesperson has to hone this skill at every instance.

Customers may ask several questions about the product, often in a negative or downright nasty manner, but it is your skill of responding to them that will change their perception. A course in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) will help you choose the right response to your customer’s queries and steer them towards closing the deal.

Be A Good Listener

You may have already heard this many times over, but to understand your customer better, you need to give all your attention to what he or she says or is trying to say. Sometimes, it isn’t about just a single customer but a whole group of them, each with different perspectives. Listening is a skill that will take you far, whether in building relationships with your customers or with others in your life.

Don’t Talk Too Much

Generally, we believe that as a salesperson, we need to talk a lot. That’s not so. Building credibility and rapport is best done when you talk less and choose your words carefully. You need to make sense to your customers, not overwhelm them with your verbosity.

Don’t Overpromise

Great salespeople never overpromise; this is what makes the product or service exceed customer expectations. Overpromising can actually overwhelm customers and prospects and make them doubt your ability to deliver. It will also harm your company’s reputation when your customer service team fails to deliver what you promised.

Be Goal Oriented And Enthusiastic

Great salespeople are usually taking notes at all times. They have written down their goals and believe that random sales calls are just a waste of precious time that could be better devoted to actual prospects.

Their love and passion for the job naturally leads them to customer groups who are potentially most interested in their product or service, and this is where they choose to focus their energy.

Customers Are Not Gods

Apart from the usual saying that customers are not your Gods, great salespeople believe that customers are no more special than they themselves are. This makes it easier to put themselves in their customers’ shoes and adopt strategies that will influence them to take the next step. Treat people the way you want to be treated and you will get the results you want.

It takes a little effort and practice to cross the thin line between being good and being great in the sales field. Respond to challenges with a ‘can do’ attitude and you’ll find that it nothing is impossible – including selling ice to an eskimo.

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