I recently wrote about why selling is so important and why everyone should be looking to improve their salesperson skills. here I want to show you some of the traits that make an excellent salesperson.
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling products and services, trying to gain buy-in from a client or pitching an idea to your boss, it’s all relevant.
My better half, Gemma, worked in sales at a gym, briefly. On her first weekend, she was the top salesperson in the team. She stormed it and brought in twice as much commission as the other people in her team.
This wasn’t any sales team, either. There was a guy who’d worked in car sales for 15 years, a body builder who knew more about weights than Arnold Schwarzenegger and a host of experienced gym sales people.
How did Gemma, who’d never worked in sales in her entire life, clean up and outsell each and every one of them? And how can you use the same techniques to become better yourself?
Let’s take a look:
1. She knew her product.
Gemma wasn’t only a fitness instructor, but she used to train fitness instructors. This means she knew every machine, and how to use them, back to front.
Gemma also has a degree in sports science, so she also knew what effect each machine has on the body – which ones burn fat, for example.
She didn’t have to convince people that she was credible, reputable or knowledgable in the product area, it was obvious.
If you’re selling something – anything – you’ve got to know what you’re selling inside out.
2. She understood the customer need.
Most sales people Gemma worked with had the same pitch for every potential customer:
“Hi there, are you interested in joining the gym? It’s cheap, there’s only a £50 deposit and there’s no contract.”
Gemma didn’t mention the price. She focused on the need of the customer.
When your selling anything, focus on what your stakeholder wants or needs. It’s not about you.Click to tweet
Some people wanted to loose weight, others wanted to bulk up, some were training for a marathon, others slimming for a wedding.
Because she took the time to understand what the customer actually wanted to achieve, she could focus solely on the gym’s features that will help the customer reach their goals. And because she knew her product, she couldn’t go wrong.
When your selling anything, focus on what your stakeholder wants or needs. It’s not about you.
3. She educated the customer.
Because of her background in physiology, while Gemma was telling potential customers what machine is good for – burning fat, for example – she could also tell people:
- How your body burns fat
- Why you should burn fat
- Why your body needs some fat
- What food to eat before and after to burn more fat
Teaching people about the product you’re selling doesn’t count. You’ve got to go beyond that.Click to tweet
And she’d obviously tailor this to match the user need – bulking up, toning, getting fit or maintaining.
People used to leave more informed than when they arrived. This helped build further trust with the customer and create positive perceptions of Gemma and thus the gym.
Teaching people about the product you’re selling doesn’t count. You’ve got to go beyond that.
What can you bring that interests them, that relates to their need and that they don’t already know?
4. She had passion.
For Gemma, being fit and healthy is just what she does. Her family are the same. Her dad ran, her grandad did as well. And helping others to get fit and stay healthy is what she loves and still does today.
People feel that passion when they talk to her about health, fitness, exercise and food. That’s why she’s the go-to person in our family for that kind of stuff. Her customers felt that, too. She had energy and genuinely cared about helping them, as opposed to helping herself or her company.
Gemma didn’t have passion for the product, she had a passion for what the product helped people achieve. Her real passion was and still is helping people.
Improving your salesperson skills is easy
As long as you know your product, understand your customer need, have more to offer than a sales pitch and care enough about helping people achieve their goals, you can sell anything.