Hands down, the number one lament I hear from business owners is that they wish they could rely on consistent new business development. The contributing factors of those inconsistencies lie in whether each seller has the innate talents necessary to be successful; whether there’s a sound business development strategy in place; and whether the sellers will put forth the necessary effort.
Since all of these factors can’t be covered in one article, here are what I believe to be 10 common attributes of the most successful producers.
1. Confidence (belief in one’s self and the work you are doing)
People naturally gravitate towards those who exude self-confidence. Confident people know that they can and will make a difference. This self-confidence must also translate to confidence in the product/service and company.
2. Passion (a strong desire to do what you do)
The passionate believe that what they sell is meaningful and can have a significant and positive impact on others. They put their whole self – 100% - into their work every day. They are fully engaged and, therefore, strongly motivated.
3. Desire to Understand (a relentless need to diagnose and question)
The needs of your prospects and clients come first. Great salespeople are curious. They work to understand their client’s business, challenges and potential. This understanding leads to the discovery of opportunities and possible solutions, always from the perspective of solving the client’s problems.
4. Responsibility (they’ll do what needs to be done when it needs to be done)
And they’ll do what they say they’ll do. They self-manage. They take complete responsibility for all aspects of their lives and their happiness. They do not make excuses, they do not blame others and they admit mistakes. Those who possess this attribute quickly earn the trust of others.
5. Business Savvy (an understanding of business principles)
Salespeople are business managers. They understand their client’s ever-changing needs. They understand that clients hire them because they’ve demonstrated how their product/service will deliver better results. They also understand valuations and aren’t likely to concede when pressured to lower their price.
6. Ability to Identify Opportunities (they ‘get it’)
There are opportunities all around us, some of which are a fit, many which aren’t. The best salespeople are always thinking and wondering. They make connections between what they learn each day and what new possibilities may result. Then they share those thoughts with others thus creating new opportunities.
7. Resourcefulness (they find or create a way to connect the dots)
None of us can do or be the best at everything. The resourceful know their strengths and weaknesses and surround themselves with others who fill the gaps. These folks have a strong network, are proactive and work consistently to connect those in their circle. These are the problem solvers, the ‘go to’ people.
8. Persuasiveness (they have the ability to influence and affect decisions)
These are the natural debaters and negotiators. Their approach is both logical and a bit emotional depending on their level of passion. These are the people others seek out for advice because they’re worth listening to. It’s the persuasive person who moves others to make decisions.
9. Continuous Prospecting (each new relationship may bring opportunity)
Uncovering new business opportunities is an essential part of their daily activity. Even current clients are fair game. Meeting people and discovering what they do energizes them. They have set goals to make new connections each day/week/month.
10. Closing (the ability to ask for and obtain commitments)
Getting others to make commitments throughout the sales process is what these people do quite naturally. Beginning with the first point of contact, and without reservation, they ask for what they need; to be considered, for an appointment, who the decision maker is, etc. They move each conversation to the next step asking for commitments consistently.
When all of these attributes are present, pipelines remain full, ideas are created, profitable sales are made and business growth occurs. Are you getting your fair share of new business?