When you think of someone in sales, what comes to mind? If you are like most people you think of a high energy person that is bubbly and talkative. The stereotypical sales professional is highly charismatic and easily able to influence people to do their bidding.
But in my experience, there is no one right way to succeed in sales.
Certainly there are benefits to being an extravert. Extraverts like being around people. They feed off the energy of being in a group. If they are feeling down, getting in front of their customers and “being on stage” and get them up. These are certainly good for making sales calls. On the other hand, extraverts often need to be the center of attention. This makes them less likely to listen deeply.
And the best salespeople know that they are not the center of the sales conversation…the customer is. You need to really empathize with them if you want to gain their trust…and help them.
Introverts are often, by nature, better listeners. They are great at letting the customer be the center of attention. Because they are not talking, they can be more thoughtful with their questioning so they can provide fantastic sales solutions. But let’s face it, introverts can sometimes struggle with the “putting yourself out there” piece of sales. They can agonize over details before making a call and struggle with the energy to network.
Both have their advantages and disadvantages. But I have seen both types of personalities succeed and fail (sometimes spectacularly) in sales. So what are some things that DO lead to sales success? Here are just a few that I have seen.
Consistency of Effort
Many people in the sales profession have a roller coaster of results. They will have highs and lows. Some of that is unavoidable. But often that comes from a roller coaster of effort. They put in huge effort one day (or one week) and then fall off the next. The best salespeople and entrepreneurs do several pro-active things every day to create consistent results.
Empathize with the Customer
If you want to create the best results for the customer, you really need to understand what they are going through. You need to understand what their pain points are, so you can best select a solution. As my friend Bill Petrie says, the best sales people act like a Doctor. They ask questions and find out the diagnosis and then prescribe a solution.
Invest in Themselves
The best of the best in any profession keep learning. The best salespeople are no different. What books are you reading right now? If you don’t have an answer to that, you are not getting better. Listening to books and podcasts and attending education, help you get better. If you don’t do it, that’s fine…but just know that it’s a choice.
The good news is, there is no one right way to succeed in sales. You can work within your own strengths to build a great business. You just have to be willing to put in the work.
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Kirby Hasseman is the CEO of Hasseman Marketing, a full service marketing agency located in Ohio. Learn more about Hasseman Marketing here. And if you are interested in have him speak at your next event, you can learn more here.