Do You Have What it Takes to be Successful in Sales?

By: Thomas Young

So you are looking for work and you think, why not sales. You like people, you tend to be outgoing, and your uncle Ted is in sales and he makes a ton of money, how hard can it be? The answer may surprise you. As many as 30% of people who enter the sales field leave in their first year and only 20% earn 80% of the total compensation paid to sales reps across the country. Getting a sales job is easy, being successful is very difficult. If you are willing to learn and develop the following traits, abilities and skills, then you may have the potential to be a successful in sales.

1. Understand the Value of Selling as a Profession

Sales is an honorable profession and one to be proud of. Without sales there would be no free market or economy as we know it today. Selling is the spark that drives our economic system.

2. Live With a Flexible Salary

Be prepared to set your own salary and have your pay be directly tied to your performance. Sales people are some of the highest paid people in the world, due to the nature of commissioned based selling with no ceilings and no floor.

3. Leave Your Outgoing Personality at Home

One of the biggest mistakes people make in pursuing a sales career is taking a sales job because they get a charge from being around people. Outgoing people who love to talk and make new friends, often burn out because of the rejection they experience and their inability to close sales from not listening. The best sales people are listening, analyzing and asking questions so they can meet the needs of their customers.

4. Learn to See Rejection as a Good Thing

There is so much rejection in sales, if taken personally it will lead to unhappiness that will spill over into your personal life. Successful sales people see rejection as one step closer to a sale and a very powerful learning experience. They do not experience emotional side effects from the loss of a sale.

5. Become a Constant Learner

True sales people are not born, they are trained. There are no secrets or magic bullets that lead to success in selling. Successful sales people spend a portion of each day reading, listening to audio tapes and learning from the top sellers in their profession.

6. Believe in Your Product or Service

You must believe in your product/service with all your heart, soul, mind and body. If this is not possible, then do not sell for that company. People will not buy from someone that does not believe 100% in what they are selling. This cannot be hidden; the customer will see through insincere intentions.

7. Be Honest and Trustworthy

Customers want to buy from someone who they can trust and is honest. They want to buy from a friend. Learn to build relationships based on trust, honesty and integrity.

8. Learn Your CustomerÕs Hot Buttons

Get inside the head of the customer and learn why the buy. Push their hot buttons by meeting needs and adding value.

There are many more factors associated with sales success, however these are eight of the most important. If you decide to pursue a sales career, incorporate these traits and you are on the road to successful selling.

What is the Sales Manager Looking for in a Sales Rep?

  • A clone of their all-star sales people, or those in the top 20% who bring in 80% of the sales teamÕs revenue.
  • Commitment and loyalty to the company and product.
  • Eagerness to earn high commissions.
  • A proven track record in sales.
  • Loyalty to the needs of the customer.
  • Goal oriented individuals.
  • Positive enthusiasm and a willingness to learn and grow on the job.

When interviewing for a sales job ask the following questions:

  • Can I see a job description?
  • What is my compensation potential?
  • What does your average performer make?
  • What does your top seller make?
  • How much autonomy will I have?
  • How many calls are expected per day or week?
  • Is the job in the field or tele-sales?
  • Can you explain the compensation plan?
  • Who specifically is your target market? p>These types of questions can help clarify the kind of sales job for which you have applied.