Who do we actually define as salespersons? In today’s fast paced world salesperson is anyone who sells-they can work from anywhere- home, behind the office desk counter, over the phone, online or going from house to house, knocking on doors to sell their goods, ideas or anything else that requires to be sold to the market at large.
It is a highly competitive demand-supply market scenario and with plenty of opportunities and a plethora of choices to choose from, for the general public, selling anything to them has just become difficult manifold times. We have perhaps grown up watching exhausted and yet eager salespersons knocking on our doors and being rebuked for disturbing the afternoon siesta in most of the households, but what we have often failed to see is the effort it takes to be a salesperson- a successful one. It takes a lot of grit determination and plenty of other factors. So here we list the top ten skills which is a requisite for all salespersons out there to make it to the big and strapping league of extraordinary men and carve a niche in this highly competitive field.
1. Good marketability
This goes without saying, doesn’t it? Well but the point is not all salesperson are good at this-one of the most essential skills that goes into the making of a good salesperson. Today there is a cut throat level of competition and one has to have the extra edge when it comes to marketing a product effectively. Bonus points to the one who is well versed with the market statistics and is fully aware of the dynamics of the market after thorough research. This includes research on competitor’s similar products, brand value, marketing strategies and definitely reaching out to a bigger chunk of the target population. This requires meticulous study on the target population and their demands and requisites and how to satisfy this demand neatly. Customers are no more a sedentary part of the market so there is no room for mistakes.
2. Believe in the product
A common misleading conviction of the public is salespersons are just a bunch of lying scumbags, and obviously a deep rooted notion. But to prove this fallacious testimony wrong it is a primal necessity that the one selling the product has to believe in the product. A customer should be able to trust and it is based on this mutual trust that a bond can be forged. Being unknown to the product’s various aspects is a cardinal sin for a salesperson. Before one goes out to sell the product the salesperson should be convinced of its usability and fruitfulness to be able to convince the consumer effectively of the same. As it is well known, the most convincing lie is the one which you believe.
3. Sharp and witty
This profession requires a lot of street smartness which comprises being sharp and witty. It should be reflected on the way the product is marketed and how the message is conveyed to the consumers. This is that personal extra edge that would pull consumers and attract their attention. We have always loved that funny, sharp-witted guy irrespective of his capabilities over that tongue-tied one, haven’t we? The intel that goes into marketing and selling a good should be well backed. The consumer should get the idea that you are well informed of the demands and capable enough to fulfil them. One has to innovate constantly to keep up with the changes. A sharp wit will always pull one from any kind of awkward situation or un-called for queries.
4. Oratory skills
Sales are a competitive job and requires relentless oration. It’s not a job for the weak and introverts of this earth’s realm and requires excessively powerful oratory skills and maybe to a certain extent imposing personality with a gentle yet firm persuasiveness. The consumer needs to be told with clarity about why they should be spending their hard earned money on the product. It is the pre-requisite step which is followed by marketability skills. It seeks for an over-bearing person to an extent who can take the lead at all times and can put forth his points on the table even unprepared. After all, salesperson bridges the gap between a product and it’s delivery to the masses and no one wants a communication problem to come between the two.
5. Be a leader
A leader leads the whole team. The confidence should be reflected in the personality. A person under-confident of his skills, product or himself in general would be a disastrous failure. The consumer should be able to trust the salesperson of fulfilling the promise and keep up his side of the bargain. Ambitious yet practical goal-setting is good for starters.
It’s for the fittest because those are the ones who’ll survive till the end. The market trends with an unstable economy are prone to frequent and abrupt changes so definitely the salesperson must be abreast with all the changes and well-updated. One will perhaps have to adapt to the politics involved in the game and often turn a blind eye to a co-worker’s malice since the field itself is competitive. Physically too one will perhaps have to put up with erratic working schedules, work conditions or hectic days of field work. One must not be averse to travelling as this job often demands flexibility in travel schedules. A spoiler alert: one would perhaps find oneself spending more time on the office couch than the comforts of home. But at the end of the day it is a lucrative job so to gain some we often have to lose some.
7. Thick skinned
Now in case you did not already know that, this profession needs one to be thick-skinned, bluntly put. There will be more times when one is rejected, told off rudely, a door slammed right over your face, or simply cursed and be hung up on over the phone even before you were given an opportunity to rant about how great your product is. But it is necessary to put all that behind and not take it personally and move on to your next possible target. It is a strict no-no to express your frustration no matter how bad a day it was. A smile and polite thank you even after a rude rejection never failed to calm anyone.
8. Good response system
A very common complaint of consumers is that salesperson after selling their product often turns a blind eye and a deaf ear to the further needs or demands of the consumer. Calls for faulty goods requiring service or any other kind of work often go un-responded as such issues are given the step-child treatment. It is hence of extreme importance to maintain a good rapport even long after selling the product. This helps in the build-up of goodwill, reputation and greater satisfaction among consumers creating a win-win situation for both the parties. You know who they would recommend as the ideal salesperson to their friends the next time they call you to know how the microwave grilling option works and you are as cooperative in explaining them that when you were while selling it to them!
It is one of the most essential ingredients everywhere- hard work. No matter how street-smart the fellow salesperson is, there’s no substitute for sheer hard work. This profession calls for unmatched tenacity and patience as one faces a lot of rejection, is questioned incessantly and requires a lot of field work. One has to stay put and determined fuelled with a well-placed ambition and target. Being industrious also includes able enough to face the everyday hardships this job profile brings along with itself.
10. Friendly approach
A friend in need is definitely a friend indeed. It has always been easier to approach the genial and friendly person over the curt and grumpy one so obviously that teaches us a lesson. One has to be more approachable and presentable to the target or consumer to be able to sell the product. Consumers are far better aware and well networked than they were ever before so it’s no more a one-sided market where the suppliers call the shots. Everyone has got an equal say. It is hence important that the consumers see the salesperson as someone who genuinely wants to solve their problems instead of some off-hand brutes that are just intent on selling the products to unsuspecting chumps and pocketing their monthly commissions.