As a sales manager and coach, I am often asked ‘what does it take to become truly great at selling?’ Sales is a highly competitive profession and naturally everyone wants to be the best. But as we all know, only a select few really ever achieve greatness, the vast majority destined for a career of mediocrity.
There are many sales people, but very few sales professionals.
This is what sets apart the best from the rest – professionalism. Sales professionals consistently exceed their targets, their results are always in the top 10% and they earn the biggest bonuses!
So, what does professional selling look like?
In my experience, having been fortunate enough to lead, manage and observe highly successful sales professionals doing what they do best, it’s become clear that they exhibit a core set of beliefs that give them the edge over their colleagues and competitors. They are so committed to these beliefs that they become second nature and they are constantly ‘in the zone’.
They want it
The most important attribute of all – you must want to be the best. Really want to be the best. Be honest with yourself, just how badly do you want to be a star performer?
They take ownership
Your target is your target, no-one else’s. You must take responsibility and never start blaming others for your failures. It’s your career; own it.
They are hungry for success
Top sales pros and highly successful entrepreneurs share an insatiable hunger for success. They are greedy for it and they never stop pushing for more. You need it too.
They are confident
Contrary to popular belief, confidence is not something you have to be born with. Real professionals develop their confidence, working on their appearance, self-image and by visualising success.
They are passionate
For some, selling is more than a job – it’s a passion. If you want to be great, you must be passionate about what you do.
They are adaptable
Professionals aren’t scared of change, in fact they embrace it and see opportunity. You must be able to adapt your approach or strategy to the changing world. Don’t get complacent.
They believe in themselves
If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect anyone else to? You must believe in you and create a positive state of mind. Self-belief is highly motivating.
The point is, if you want to become great at selling you have to capture the essence of what it takes to be a professional. It’s a fundamental set of principles – a belief system, almost – and very few people possess these attributes or are willing to develop them.
Start by taking a long hard look at yourself in the mirror. Be completely honest with yourself, and seek the opinions of friends and family members you can trust. Do you really have what it takes to be the best? Do you really demonstrate the 7 key attributes day in, day out?
The good news is that you are capable of developing into a top performing sales professional and enjoying the rewards that come with it, provided you are willing to invest time in yourself.
I guess it all comes down to the most important attribute of all – just how badly do you want it?