A recent Harvard Business School study focused on the common characteristics of top salespeople. The results were not all that surprising – most people can become top performers if they are willing to study, concentrate, and focus on their performance. Here is a list of common attributes the study found to be present in highly successful salespeople:

–        Do not take “no” personally – Never let the word “no” make you feel as if you failed. Be confident in your abilities.

–        100% acceptance of responsibility for results – Don’t blame the economy, the competition, or your company for lack of closing success.

–        Above average ambition – Do you have a desire to succeed?

–        High levels of empathy – Put yourself in the customers shoes; imagine their needs & concerns and then respond appropriately.

–        Intensely goal-oriented – Always have a plan; know where you are going and how much progress you are making.

–        Above average will power – Do you have the determination to plow ahead no matter how difficult things seem?

–        Impeccable honesty – Be honest with yourself and your customers, no matter what. Trust gain only be earned through honesty.

–        Ability to approach strangers – Even though it’s uncomfortable, can you make that cold-call or drop-in?

Reviewing this list, how many of these areas do you rate high in? What can you be doing to help yourself become a top sales performer? (besides attending MNMI sales training modules – I apologize for the shameless plug.)

Selling newspaper advertising can be an amazing career filled with enormous rewards, but you must be willing to grasp every opportunity to enhance your skills. Become a sponge – soak up all of the tips, tricks and strategies of other top sales performers that you can find. Ask your sales managers, ad directors or publishers to accompany you on a sales call and ask them to rate your performance. Practice, practice and then practice again. To become a master of your trade, you must be willing to invest the time. But I assure you that your efforts WILL pay off, and to the victor goes the spoils!

Have a terrific week,

If there are specific topics you’d like to see discussed in a future issue of The Sales Cycle, please contact me at 612-278-0223 or dan@mna.org