Everyone who has ever worked in a sales office has seen employees come and go, some even on the same day. Sales certainly isn’t for everyone, and it’s an industry which has a very high turnover rate as people get let go for not hitting their numbers, move on to other companies or industries, or simply burn out or crack under the pressure. It’s tough to understand exactly what sales puts you through mentally and emotionally unless you’ve actually done it, so if you’re considering trying out sales as a career, make sure that you have most (if not all) of the following traits:
1) Commitment – A true salesperson is committed to what they’re doing. If you think you will go into sales, make some quick money and get out, you will be very unpleasantly surprised. Building a pipeline and steady clientele takes time, and it’s only the people who commit to the profession who make the big bucks.
2) Optimism – Salespeople put up with so much crap on a daily basis that if you’re not an optimist, or don’t force yourself to be one, you will never make it. The best mentality a salesperson can have is that every rejection is bringing them one step closer to a deal; it’s the mentality of a true optimist.
3) Resilience – Hearing “no” on a regular basis, or getting hung up on will start to wear you down if you don’t make resilience a core part of your character at work. Salespeople sometimes work on deals for months or even years only to watch them fall apart. The resilient move on and make money, the others quit.
4) Persistence – The average person thinks an objection as a stop sign, but to a good salesperson it’s simply part of the route. Persistently overcoming objections, staying vigilant, and following-up makes the difference between a good and a bad salesperson, and is a requirement of the profession.
5) Empathy – The best salespeople empathize with their customers and their customer’s troubles in order to be successful. Helping people solve their problems is the hallmark of a true salesperson, and identifying problems that a customer might not even realize they have comes from being empathetic.
6) Patience – Most salespeople start off wanting everything now, but the best ones are the ones who learn that patience is just as important as persistence. Some deals may take months or years to close, but patient salespeople follow-up with a customer even if it’s a year later, and usually make the sale.
7) Self-awareness – This is usually something that comes with maturity, but the best salespeople know who they are, what they’re good at, and what their weaknesses are. If you don’t know (or can’t admit) where you’re weak, then you can never improve. And despite what you may think, no one is perfect.
8) Loyalty – In today’s fast paced-world, loyalty can be tough to find. If you want to succeed in sales, however, it’s a trait that can only help. Loyalty to your customers, loyalty to your company and co-workers, and loyalty to your family are what can set you apart from everyone else in the cut-throat sales world.
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