How to be a good salesperson
Many people make the mistake of thinking that sales skills are actually innate personality traits: You must be outgoing and extroverted, assertive, quick-witted and an excellent public speaker – right? Wrong. Almost anyone can learn how to be a good salesperson. It’s all about matching up your strengths with the right style, improving on your weaknesses and developing tried-and-true sales skills to build connections and drive more sales.
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What’s your sales personality?
We all have certain communication styles and ways that we process information, which does affect our sales personality. Determining your natural style will help you reveal areas for improvement as well as develop an effective sales technique that works for you.
Assertive sales personality
Assertive or aggressive sales personalities are the classic competitive types. They’re naturally good at demand generation, competition-based selling, hard sells and high-pressure situations. They are goal-oriented and decisive, but can be seen as impatient, loud or controlling. Other sales skills they can improve on include effective communication and forming thoughtful questions.
Personable sales personality
This type of sales personality is friendly, outgoing and creative. Strong personal connections are the base for their sales process, making them naturally good at relationship-based selling, consultative selling and soft sells. They can tend to be people-pleasing and can improve on sales skills like goal-setting and tracking, working under pressure and upselling.
Logical sales personality
Logical sellers tend to be driven by facts and impersonal data. They are true experts on their product or service and always come prepared with proof points, making them naturally good at product-oriented selling, transactional selling and cold calling. But the ability to create personal connections is one of the most important sales skills, so a logical seller must improve on that in order to truly discover how to be a good salesperson.
How to be successful in sales
Your sales personality is just one tool to have in your toolbox – it doesn’t dictate your career or your future in sales. In fact, it’s much more important to be flexible and develop a range of sales skills.
1. Become more self-aware
Self-awareness is the foundation of great leadership and essential to developing all your other sales skills. The best salespeople leverage their strengths and work on their weaknesses – and to do that, you must be aware of what they are.
2. Find your passion
If you’re not doing something you love, you’ll never learn how to be a good salesperson. Customers can tell when the passion isn’t there. And if you’re not passionate about your own product or service, they won’t be either.
3. Develop emotional intelligence
While data and statistics are useful, human beings ultimately make decisions based on emotions. That’s why the secret to how to be successful in sales always goes back to emotional intelligence, or the ability to identify and understand others’ feelings while also managing your own.
4. Build rapport
Have you heard the saying, “People do business with people they like?” It’s true. Technical sales skills and data points are meaningless without the ability to make connections and build rapport. Learn how to ask better questions and see things from others’ perspectives.
5. Work on deep listening
Another way to build better connections is to work on your deep listening skills. Make eye contact and repeat what the other person says to show you understand. You won’t just discover how to be a good salesperson, you’ll be a better partner and friend too.
6. Use nonverbal communication
The power of nonverbal communication as a sales skill can’t be overstated. Nod and smile when someone is talking to you. Position your body in a welcoming manner or mirror their own body language. Be fully present and make the other person feel like the center of your world.
7. Identify metaprograms
Have you ever noticed how people respond completely differently to the same sales message? Identifying their metaprograms, or the ways that they interpret information, is the key to being able to tailor your message and get through to anyone.
8. Become an expert
While an emotional connection is important, customers also want to fulfill their deep human need for certainty. No one wants to regret a purchase they’ve made. You can help close the certainty gap by becoming a complete expert on your product or service.
9. Put customers first
In the end, learning how to be a good salesperson isn’t actually about you at all – it’s about your customer. What are their needs? What do they want that they are not getting from your competitors? Figure out your X factor, and you’ll create raving fan customers that make selling easy.
10. Use the power of storytelling
You know how you provide more value than anyone else – but how can you communicate that to customers? The answer is with the power of storytelling. Every great salesperson and leader is also a great storyteller.
11. Develop a growth mindset
Remember, Tony tells us that “Changing an organization, a company, a country or a world begins with the simple step of changing yourself.” A growth mindset, or the belief that you can change and improve your current skills, is what empowers you to do just that.
12. Set and track goals
Being goal-oriented isn’t just a top sales skill, it’s a top skill for successful athletes, entrepreneurs and others around the world. Learning how to set and track goals will help you achieve anything you put your mind to, including record sales numbers.
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