5 Attributes to Develop for S.A.L.E.S Success

by Howard Litwak

As a Certified Business Coach, Howard specializes in helping Business Owners, Executives, and Managers Improve their ability to set and achieve goals, develop success oriented thinking and habits and refines their skills. He believes that success in business is driven by individuals and teams who have the right combination of these things. Howard has clients that span across 30 different industries. When you meet him, you'll immediately see why he has been so successful across so many business sectors. He mixes big picture thinking, with practical, results oriented actions, and an ability to challenge peoples thinking in a positive way so that they can take different actions. And he is pretty fun to be around. Howard's approach pays rich dividends for clients who put a premium on professional competence, continuous improvement, being the best that they can for themselves and their customers, and will do what it takes to break out of the "status quo."

With competition across all industries at an all-time high, salespeople need to be better now than ever. There is still business to be had. It's simply going to the sellers who have set themselves apart from the rest.

It's important for salespeople (experienced or not) to go back to basics. I'm not talking about different techniques for questioning or closing, but the foundation of who they are as a person.

Here are five attributes and one bonus that were the foundation of my 20 plus years of sales success. Attributes are like habits. They can be developed and made stronger and more effective. To help you remember them, I have turned SALES into an acronym.

  1. Sell to Help Always put your prospects needs first. To paraphrase Zig Ziglar: If you help your prospects get what they want, you can get more of what you want out of life. People can usually sense a salesperson just out for a commission. If you are looking for the benefits of long term relationships, like repeat and referral business, selling to help is a must. One transaction salespeople don't last long term. How aware of your prospects needs and wants are you? How well do you match your product or service to fill those needs or wants?
  2. Attitude That is Positive Attitude as opposed to 'having an attitude'. Attitude is what drives behavior. A positive attitude leads you to thinking about your potential for success, and the options you have, as opposed to what could go wrong or why something won't work. Remember, your thoughts are the one thing in this world that you have complete control over. Your thoughts lead to your actions which lead to your desired results. So you are in complete control over the level of success you achieve. Your thoughts are the cause. Your results are the effect. How is your attitude in general? Is your sales attitude getting you the success that you want?
  3. Likable (friendly) People want to do business with people they like. Like leads to trust. Friendly leads to easy to do business with. Friendly is showing an interest in others. When you do that, people feel liked. If a prospect likes you and trusts you, then they may do business with you. But if they don't like you, they will probably never do business with you. Are you likable to everyone, all of the time?
  4. Enthusiastic People want to see enthusiasm. Being enthusiastic about what you do makes it easier for your prospect to buy "you". Enthusiastic and passionate makes it easier for a prospect to like you. People will buy more from your enthusiasm and conviction than anything else. These are all foundational to relationships and sales. Enthusiasm can be transferred to a prospect which increases your chances for a sale. But remember that it needs to be real. How enthusiastic are you every day? What can you do to refresh your enthusiasm?
  5. Smart Being knowledgeable leads to competence and confidence, which leads to trust. People want to do business with confident, competent people. Know all you can about your product or service and its possible outcomes in terms of your prospects needs, wants, concerns, or issues. Know all that you can about building relationships and influence. It is then that you can deal from a position of adviser or trusted resource. That's a good place to be. What can you learn to be more valuable to your prospects and clients?

The bonus attribute is Authentic. You need to be who you are. None of this can be faked. You will always be more effective when you are yourself as opposed to trying to imitate someone else or to use a "technique". Authenticity is using your natural talents for the right reasons and in the right way. On a scale of 1-10, how authentic are you? How can you be more authentic?

S.A.L.E.S. These 5 attributes have been the cornerstone of my 20 plus years of success selling in many different industries. Success leaves clues and now you have the clues you need increase sales immediately and forever. Do you want your team to be better in any of these areas? Contact your favorite Paradigm Associate. This is one of our areas of expertise!