Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.
I was a Kool-Aid kid growing up. Weren’t you? Only problem, sugar was expensive. It was the Jimmy Carter era of high gas, coffee, and sugar prices – and 16% return on CD’s!. We would even have to go next door to “borrow” sugar. Aaahhh, how I long for simpler days!
My mom would let me make it and I would pretend to be a research scientist mixing up the antidote for some virus the evil Dr. Doom had unleashed on the world. Though the directions called for one cup of sugar, she only gave me quarter of a cup. Yea, kind of bitter but still better than water! My sisters and I would fight over the last glass that had all the crunchy bits of the sweet compound mixture of water, ice, sugar, and Red Dye #40…a poor man’s slushie!
It’s kind of like when you hire someone for sales. The resume says they are a one cup of sugar high achiever…but you only get a quarter cup!
Not today! The Mad Scientist is putting together a complete package. Where do we begin?
Not the brain, but the heart!
Here are the ten qualities that I look for first, in salespeople with heart:
- Energetic – Kinetic energy. A certain “mojo” is necessary to let clients see the passion and conviction you feel about your solutions. Physically, it takes energy to make it through the typical salesperson’s day. Hint: Lay off sugar, caffeine, and processed foods – they are killing your real energy!
- Work Ethic – Start early, be on time and work toward being effective…not busy. Professional and personal balance are important, but when you are at work – work! When the task calls for more energy (see #1), you must be ready to roll up your sleeves and do whatever it takes!
- Passionate – The most successful salespeople love what they are doing. They may not love every aspect, but the love of the payoff keeps them on task. It is the combination of the product, what the product does and how it serves the needs or desires of their clients, that drives them.
- Ambitious – Not blind ambition that mows over anything in its path, but a goal-driven focus. The best salespeople set the objectives and use all the other characteristics to meet and exceed it! This could be the personal perks…the material rewards or recognition of trips and awards. It could be the higher sense of service to their clients…or all the above!
- Disciplined–Procrastination is the #1 killer of sales effectiveness. The mindset to begin and the mental toughness to see it through to the end is the hallmark of the best salespeople. Remember our earlier definition of discipline? “Doing what it takes, to get what you want…as long as it takes, until you get what you want!”
- Independent – Nothing shouts independence like commission only! If it is going to happen, the best salespeople do not sit back and wait – they make it happen. They are self-starters that take initiative. They don’t travel in packs or cliques but develop a work standard and approach that is a true to their independent nature.
- Adaptable– In most industries, sales is an ever-evolving occupation. The things that worked yesterday can be antiquated today. The competition is fierce, and people are vying for the precious resource of clients. Top salespeople stay on top of changes and adapt to them. It takes mental toughness not to lament when “the good ole days” are over but rather say, “It is a new day!”
- Commitment – Consistency leads to results. Making the contacts, following up on proposals, and the after–sale service requires commitment. The best salespeople define and refine a process that works within the framework of their gifts, abilities, and personalities. Then they do not deviate from it!
- Courageous – Sales is scary. Each day will require new action that may take you out of your comfort zone. A new product, a new competitor, or a client with a major problem. The top salespersons’ mettle is tested daily, but they respond with courage and meet each challenge head on.
- Confidence – The best salespeople operate “with faith” in themselves and their abilities. Sales is not for the faint of heart since rejection is a “minute by minute” possibility. Successful salespeople have the confidence to take “no” as a part of the process…not a personal rejection.
There you have it – the top ten characteristics that I believe make salespeople the “heart and soul” of an organization.
If you have 3-5 of these characteristics you are likely already successful or at least on your way. If not, you see that most of them can be developed. If you are missing any of the critical ones, get busy in self-development and improvement. Build a better you, a better salesperson. Become…
The Mad Scientist!