Home > Personal Selling > What makes a Good Sales Person??

What makes a Good Sales Person??

If you evaluate your existing sales team you will find that your best performers are those who seem to instinctively do the great things they do – it comes naturally to them. Whereas the “strugglers” are often like a fish out of water and the whole knowledge base and process is alien to them. They may try hard, but the natural aptitude isn’t there.

However, a balanced sales team is very important for a smooth operation. No sales team should be a team of clones - in other words, don’t employ yourself over and over. Having a balance of people with different attributes and who can contribute new talents and inspire others in the team is important. Having people with different talents and styles of presentation and selling will mean that there will be someone on the team to suit the needs of each individual client.

Your thoughts?
- by Snowboy
Pretty much hit the nail on the tip didn't youthmbp2; - by EmmaC
JI agree with most of that - Howeer don't you feel that the difference in the workplace will create a conflict amoung fellow workers?:dun - by Gunner
If you evaluate your existing sales team you will find that your best performers are those who seem to instinctively do the great things they do – it comes naturally to them. Whereas the “strugglers” are often like a fish out of water and the whole knowledge base and process is alien to them. They may try hard, but the natural aptitude isn’t there.
I disagree. Having dealt with thousands of salespeople from a great number of industries, I'd say that few top producers instinctively did what they do. They learned what to do. They learned from good sales training, they learned from watching successful salespeople, and they learned through trial and error.

Occasionally there will be the wonder kid that comes in and hits the street running, acting as though it is simply second nature. They are the exception, not the rule.

Many of the salespeople I've met or worked with have been bottom feeders who learned to become top producers. Selling isn't an instinctive endeavor. For most it's a learned process.

The issue isn't instinct but rather what one does with what they've learned. For some it's even more basic than that. For instance, there was a thread on this forum a little while back about how the big producers get so many huge sales. The implication of some of the responses indicated they wanted to know the secret these guys had. The problem is, there aren't any secrets. Looking for the secret to sales success diverts attention from the real answer--learn how to prospect, learn how to sell, and do what you've learned and do more of it and do it better than your competitor. - by pmccord
I agree that it is good to have sales people who can help inspire others. In all the teams I’ve ever worked with there has always been a mixture of experience – but not through design. However, I don’t agree that having a mix of styles in the team is good; it may be unavoidable, but not necessarily good.

First of all the really good sales people are chameleons. They change their approach, their style and their attributes to suit their audience and they have no idea they are doing it. Their language will change, tempo, words, their filters they use to process information also change, they chunk information up (strategy) or chunk down (detail), everything about their style changes to suit their audience. Therefore you have all the different styles required in one person. The not so good salespeople can’t do this and so they have to find customers who meet their style which limits their results.

Presentation styles – and gosh I’ve seen some bad examples around. Again here there is a style that is best. There are rules, do’s and don’ts that need to be followed. Most of this can be taught – except, of course, for personality, but it’s not good to have different styles – the salesperson needs to adapt to their audience, they need to captivate them and take them on the journey, just like any stage performer.

Lastly, you need methodology and process. If you don’t have a single methodology and process implemented across your sales team then by definition you have lots of different methodologies and processes and this will lead to mixed results. - by Firstborder
Thanks for all the comments guys and girls - They have been great to read.

All the best
thmbp2; - by Snowboy
I disagree. Having dealt with thousands of salespeople from a great number of industries, I'd say that few top producers instinctively did what they do. They learned what to do. They learned from good sales training, they learned from watching successful salespeople, and they learned through trial and error.

Occasionally there will be the wonder kid that comes in and hits the street running, acting as though it is simply second nature. They are the exception, not the rule.

Many of the salespeople I've met or worked with have been bottom feeders who learned to become top producers. Selling isn't an instinctive endeavor. For most it's a learned process.

The issue isn't instinct but rather what one does with what they've learned. For some it's even more basic than that. For instance, there was a thread on this forum a little while back about how the big producers get so many huge sales. The implication of some of the responses indicated they wanted to know the secret these guys had. The problem is, there aren't any secrets. Looking for the secret to sales success diverts attention from the real answer--learn how to prospect, learn how to sell, and do what you've learned and do more of it and do it better than your competitor.
Thank you very much for your in put in this regard Paul. I value your comments. - by Snowboy
I agree that it is good to have sales people who can help inspire others. In all the teams I’ve ever worked with there has always been a mixture of experience – but not through design. However, I don’t agree that having a mix of styles in the team is good; it may be unavoidable, but not necessarily good.

First of all the really good sales people are chameleons. They change their approach, their style and their attributes to suit their audience and they have no idea they are doing it. Their language will change, tempo, words, their filters they use to process information also change, they chunk information up (strategy) or chunk down (detail), everything about their style changes to suit their audience. Therefore you have all the different styles required in one person. The not so good salespeople can’t do this and so they have to find customers who meet their style which limits their results.

Presentation styles – and gosh I’ve seen some bad examples around. Again here there is a style that is best. There are rules, do’s and don’ts that need to be followed. Most of this can be taught – except, of course, for personality, but it’s not good to have different styles – the salesperson needs to adapt to their audience, they need to captivate them and take them on the journey, just like any stage performer.

Lastly, you need methodology and process. If you don’t have a single methodology and process implemented across your sales team then by definition you have lots of different methodologies and processes and this will lead to mixed results.
Well said Firstborder, you have covered all basis.

Good comment! - by Snowboy
JI agree with most of that - Howeer don't you feel that the difference in the workplace will create a conflict amoung fellow workers?:dun
Gunner - Thanks for your comment - I don't feel as though the difference in the workplace creates a conflict in saying that the mix of personality will happen everywhere you go. As a professional I would expect that my staff can put personality aside in order to achieve the task at hand. - by Snowboy
Pretty much hit the nail on the tip didn't youthmbp2;
Thanks Emma. - by Snowboy
First of all the really good sales people are chameleons. They change their approach, their style and their attributes to suit their audience and they have no idea they are doing it. Their language will change, tempo, words, their filters they use to process information also change, they chunk information up (strategy) or chunk down (detail), everything about their style changes to suit their audience. Therefore you have all the different styles required in one person. The not so good salespeople can’t do this and so they have to find customers who meet their style which limits their results.
Do you recommend salespeople learn how to change to suit their audience? - by realtor
Do you recommend salespeople learn how to change to suit their audience?
What do you think about this realtor? - by Snowboy
Gunner - Thanks for your comment - I don't feel as though the difference in the workplace creates a conflict in saying that the mix of personality will happen everywhere you go. As a professional I would expect that my staff can put personality aside in order to achieve the task at hand.
Yeah I can see your point. - by Gunner
Thanks Emma.
No worries Snowboy. - by EmmaC
Do you recommend salespeople learn how to change to suit their audience?
Yes I do. As I said the good ones do it naturally. Let me give you an example, not of sales, but of communication. I experienced this when I moved to South Africa from the UK. We had not been there long and we were at home and one of my daughters was on the phone to a new friend. We could hear speaking in this very thick South African accent. Children want to fit in and therefore she had learnt very quickly to speak with the same accent as her friends. She did not know she was doing it. During the conversation she had to ask us a question and to told her friend to wait a minute and turned around to speak. However, when she spoke to us, she had the perfect English accent – changed to suit her audience and she did not know she was doing it.

As humans we build rapport with one another. We do this automatically. Rapport is sameness, matching, like seeing yourself in a mirror. You probably heard of body matching, well rapport goes a lot deeper and language, tempo, words, accent, volume, etc all comes into it. If you watch the great communicators in the world, the likes of Bill Clinton, they will change their approach as they talk to different people in an audience. They can’t stop it, it’s natural to them.

We run communication workshops and bring to the conscious mind all the areas that a person needs to match, including processing filters in the brain. A person’s language will begin to give away how they filter information. Those attending the workshop thought they could communicate until they realise just how difficult it is! Too much to think about. However, it is the same when you first learnt to drive a car – far too much to think about and then you get used to it. Walking is the same, lots to do to get the balance right, yet you don’t think it about it now – you just get up and walk.

Therefore if this stuff does not come naturally you move from the unconscious incompetent state to the conscious incompetence state. Practice well, and you move to the conscious competence state. Practice really well and you begin to embed the skills and move to the unconscious competence state.

Therefore, to answer the question, yes, you do need to adapt to suit your audience and some of the techniques can be taught to those who want to learn. It makes a real difference. Rapport is influence! - by Firstborder
Yes I do. As I said the good ones do it naturally. Let me give you an example, not of sales, but of communication. I experienced this when I moved to South Africa from the UK. We had not been there long and we were at home and one of my daughters was on the phone to a new friend. We could hear speaking in this very thick South African accent. Children want to fit in and therefore she had learnt very quickly to speak with the same accent as her friends. She did not know she was doing it. During the conversation she had to ask us a question and to told her friend to wait a minute and turned around to speak. However, when she spoke to us, she had the perfect English accent – changed to suit her audience and she did not know she was doing it.

As humans we build rapport with one another. We do this automatically. Rapport is sameness, matching, like seeing yourself in a mirror. You probably heard of body matching, well rapport goes a lot deeper and language, tempo, words, accent, volume, etc all comes into it. If you watch the great communicators in the world, the likes of Bill Clinton, they will change their approach as they talk to different people in an audience. They can’t stop it, it’s natural to them.

We run communication workshops and bring to the conscious mind all the areas that a person needs to match, including processing filters in the brain. A person’s language will begin to give away how they filter information. Those attending the workshop thought they could communicate until they realise just how difficult it is! Too much to think about. However, it is the same when you first learnt to drive a car – far too much to think about and then you get used to it. Walking is the same, lots to do to get the balance right, yet you don’t think it about it now – you just get up and walk.

Therefore if this stuff does not come naturally you move from the unconscious incompetent state to the conscious incompetence state. Practice well, and you move to the conscious competence state. Practice really well and you begin to embed the skills and move to the unconscious competence state.

Therefore, to answer the question, yes, you do need to adapt to suit your audience and some of the techniques can be taught to those who want to learn. It makes a real difference. Rapport is influence!
Well said Colin,
I agree. - by EmmaC
Yeah I can see your point.
Thank you Gunner - by Snowboy
Yes I do. As I said the good ones do it naturally. Let me give you an example, not of sales, but of communication. I experienced this when I moved to South Africa from the UK. We had not been there long and we were at home and one of my daughters was on the phone to a new friend. We could hear speaking in this very thick South African accent. Children want to fit in and therefore she had learnt very quickly to speak with the same accent as her friends. She did not know she was doing it. During the conversation she had to ask us a question and to told her friend to wait a minute and turned around to speak. However, when she spoke to us, she had the perfect English accent – changed to suit her audience and she did not know she was doing it.

As humans we build rapport with one another. We do this automatically. Rapport is sameness, matching, like seeing yourself in a mirror. You probably heard of body matching, well rapport goes a lot deeper and language, tempo, words, accent, volume, etc all comes into it. If you watch the great communicators in the world, the likes of Bill Clinton, they will change their approach as they talk to different people in an audience. They can’t stop it, it’s natural to them.

We run communication workshops and bring to the conscious mind all the areas that a person needs to match, including processing filters in the brain. A person’s language will begin to give away how they filter information. Those attending the workshop thought they could communicate until they realise just how difficult it is! Too much to think about. However, it is the same when you first learnt to drive a car – far too much to think about and then you get used to it. Walking is the same, lots to do to get the balance right, yet you don’t think it about it now – you just get up and walk.

Therefore if this stuff does not come naturally you move from the unconscious incompetent state to the conscious incompetence state. Practice well, and you move to the conscious competence state. Practice really well and you begin to embed the skills and move to the unconscious competence state.

Therefore, to answer the question, yes, you do need to adapt to suit your audience and some of the techniques can be taught to those who want to learn. It makes a real difference. Rapport is influence!
Thanks a lot for your input on this thread Firstborder. Much appreciated - by Snowboy
Unique ability and personality - That is what makes them - not what they look like or any of that. If a sales person can get along with just anyone he meets then he wil do well. - by Geekust
Thanks a lot for your input on this thread Firstborder. Much appreciated
Your welcome, it's a pleasure. - by Firstborder
Unique ability and personality - That is what makes them - not what they look like or any of that. If a sales person can get along with just anyone he meets then he wil do well.
I agree with you Helen,
Good post Keith - by SexSells
Unique ability and personality - That is what makes them - not what they look like or any of that. If a sales person can get along with just anyone he meets then he wil do well.
Thanks for your input Helen - by Snowboy
I agree with you Helen,
Good post Keith
Thank you for your contirbution Victoria. - by Snowboy
Weekly Updates!
Questions and Answers about Selling
Subscribe to our mailing list to get threads and posts sent to your email address weekly - Free of Charge.