What does it mean to be great at SELLING?
What makes a Super Sales Person?
There’s a remarkable amount of time, energy, and money wrapped up in building an effective salesforce – rightly so. Sales teams are the revenue drivers for the organization so we’ve got to invest in the vehicle, right!
Like most things in sales, I have an opinion that veers just off the usual path – that path that is well worn because it’s traveled by the majority.
It’s important that we invest in tools, resources, and training to help sellers know and sell our products but I think the best bets – the best payoff for growth and advancement is how the Salesperson invests in his or her SELF.
There are common personality markers that can be qualitatively captured in pre-hiring tests – that show us the likeliness of a salesperson’s success. Some of these have a remarkably accurate rate at predicting if a seller will perform to their capabilities or not (we’ll connect you to our colleagues that do these assessments if you’re interested).
That said, I think there’s something even easier to help us understand if a team member will be successful – are they a “well rounded” person.
The “well rounded” salesperson is someone who carries the most effective and successful traits from their personal life into their professional life and vice versa.
“Well Rounded” is kind of a cop out – a general term to vaguely describe someone capable of many things and competent in many areas. When I say “well rounded” I’m thinking and speaking of someone who continually works at improving their station, their knowledge, and thus, their outcomes.
So, how do we become well-rounded sales professionals? The cool thing is that anyone can round out their skill set – without going back into student loan debt.
Over the next few posts, I’ll highlight some of the personality traits that this next decade of sales pros can emphasize to improve their sales effectiveness and increase their sales results (oh yeah, and use in many, many more areas of their life).
Phenomenal sellers are …
Charismatic. No, not in that Pied Piper or psychopath way. Charisma describes a wide swath of charm. Sellers that are charismatic bring a certain amount of satisfaction, pleasure, or joy when they are present. This extends to a sense of professional expertise and trust, as in having “gravitas”, creating humor or light and comfortable conversation wherever you go, or generating a feeling of warmth with authentic and relatable assurance.
How can you up your level of charisma?
- Be intentional about the experiences you create. Think about how you interact with anyone and everyone you meet – and even before then. Create a purposeful continuity of experiencing you – from your social media profiles to your customer interactions. Read “The Power of Moments” to help understand what makes an experience extraordinary and memorable. Being purposeful about how you are experienced and perceived gives you more ability to influence how you want people to feel about you.
- Understand your presence. Teaching young people to speak up in a group is eye-opening. They have to be taught to command the attention of their audience. This isn’t done forcefully, by shouting, or clapping your hands like they did when our kids were in daycare (“1,2,3, eyes on me!”) but with steady eye contact, calm and confident body language, restraint and pauses – waiting for your moment to be heard. First read, “The Charisma Myth”, by Olivia Fox Cabane, to dial in on how to focus your mind and your intent on being present. Next, practice, practice, practice. With each conversation, commit to attentive and effective listening. Make your audience feel that they are important, valued, and heard. (Perhaps “listening” should be its own category). Speak with purpose, don’t interrupt, and don’t roll with any fluff. Make your presence count!
- BONUS: Be comfortable and confident in your own skin. Demonstrating confidence is always one of highest ranked traits of attractiveness. Being comfortable and confident in your own skin, the clothes you wear, and the space you occupy – makes you attractive and signals charisma. To level up confidence, start with mastering body language with this hugely popular Ted Talk by psychologist, Amy Cuddy. Even if you’ve seen it, watch it again and keep practicing.
How would you rate your Charisma level? Can you ramp it up a bit and still be “YOU”?
This is part of that “well rounded” personality – but comes with a caveat. We’ve all met that person that’s all “Charisma” and no substance, or no authenticity. All charisma and no substance makes Johnny a crappy seller – and probably a crappy human as well. Or, all charisma and no integrity or moral compass makes Johnny … The Wolf of Wall Street. And that’s, well, just NO. No.
Come back next post for another personality trait and resources to amplify yourself and your selling skills!
Until next time, stop hoping and start SELLING!