Every company needs qualified sales representatives. It is crucial to choose people who exhibit the characteristics of the ideal sales representative. A sales representative is the public face of your company, and if you have a dishonest, abrasive, or unlikeable person representing your business, your reputation will suffer. James Neumann, the owner of Foxpoint Media, names the top 8 characteristics of a good sales representative and how you can make their skills work for your company.
A good sales representative should have excellent control over their emotions. You will never see a good sales representative appear nervous or talk too quickly to be understood. Keeping a sense of composure is invaluable because sales situations can sometimes turn adversarial, and the sale may be lost if emotions run too high. A good sales representative can manage this type of customer interaction without flying off the handle.
- Lack of Self-Consciousness
Sales representatives need to have a thick skin. If they are not prone to being embarrassed, they will have an easier time navigating the challenges that are inherent in the field of sales. A lack of self-consciousness means that your employees will have an easier time coping in case of rejection or failure. This is one of the inborn qualities that you need to look for in a sales representative. Though it can be cultivated, it is difficult for a self-conscious person to lose his or her inhibitions.
- Considering Return on Investment
A quality sales representative will always make mental calculations that determine whether they are spending their time in an optimal fashion. Every task should be treated like an investment: the time put in versus the benefit received. This helps sales representatives distinguish between tasks with a low reward versus high-reward activities. They should be able to regulate their time management so that they spend as little time as possible on activities that do not directly benefit the company.Automating repetitive tasks is one of the sales representative’s best tools. The time spent on organizing and copying lead information can be better used on customer contact. When a sales representative spends too much time on administrative tasks, their productivity will suffer.
- Understanding the Industry
A good sales rep will be well-versed in the product and in the industry. They should be experts on the product and be able to explain all facets of it, as well as being able to answer the most obscure questions about the product itself. If a sales rep can’t answer the question, they need to have the research skills to find the answer quickly. Nothing turns a customer off faster than a sales rep who has a poor grasp on what they’re selling.In today’s fast-paced world, customers have the power to research products and services online. They may already know the basics and need to find out detailed information. The sales rep should be there to answer their questions about any facet of the business.
A well-educated sales rep can also be useful in other areas of the business. As an expert on the product and how it is used by the customer, a sales rep can help a development team by sharing the questions and concerns that customers have about the product.
- Having a Growth Mindset
A good sales rep has a growth mindset. This means that they are constantly trying to improve their knowledge and skills. Some sales reps will sit back and become complacent when they are meeting their quota, but a good sales rep will continue to put time and effort into their growth. Learning new sales strategies is a huge advantage. Many techniques that used to work, like cold calling, have been replaced by sharing insights into their business strategy.
- Planning Realistically for Obstacles
A sales rep may have a reputation for being an eternal optimist, but it helps if a sales rep is able to consider the possible negatives in any situation. This will help them plan for possible setbacks and keep them thinking strategically at all times. Skeptical sales reps will be able to ask better questions and determine who the true decision makers are.
- Persistence with Respect
Everyone has dealt with a pushy sales representative. Pushy salespeople are annoying and can turn off a customer. Being persistent has to be coupled with respect and friendliness. Following up on a contact only works if it is a path to a relationship with a client. Customers are not going to react well if they feel they are being badgered into making a purchase.A good sales rep will always try to show their product as a potential solution for the customer. They are focused on the company’s needs rather than on their own. For example, if a company is selling advertising, the sales representative needs to show the customer how their services will benefit their bottom line. Companies appreciate a direct approach to sales but pushing it too far can have seriously negative consequences.
- Goal Setting
A quality sales representative knows how to set goals and is motivated by them. Whether the goals are set by the employee or by the company, a good sales rep is able to adapt their pitch and work with them. Sales representatives who are successful know that setting their own goals, such as monthly sales goals, stretch goals, and activity goals, helps them create a better output. It is also important to set smaller goals that provide motivation along the way. Being able to meet incremental goals and celebrating those successes boosts morale.
Finding a Quality Sales Representative
James Neumann has provided these 8 characteristics of a quality sales representative. The most important trait of a good sales representative is persistence, though persistence must be tempered with respect. Giving up on a sale too early can lead to a loss of productivity. Using these 8 tips, you can help your sales representatives develop their skills.