True Sales Professionals have to have IT

As a sales training company, we get called upon often to help sales teams sell more. Before any training “solution” is implemented however, we like to perform an assessment on the sales team, in essence, to see what we’ve got to work with.

While it’s true, most sales teams will benefit from some additional soft skills training, what we typically find is that there always a few individuals on the team (hopefully only one or two, but sometimes, unfortunately, it’s many more than that) for which training alone (or at all) is the answer. These individuals are just simply don’t have “IT”. So what is “IT”? And can they ever get it?  Well, let’s answer the second question first. “IT” can’t be taught, and “IT” is not likely to come to those that didn’t come to the job with it to begin with (although, on rare exceptions, “IT” can be found by some).

So what is “IT”. Well, “IT” is really six different things. First, a little perspective.

Unlike most professions such as medicine, law, and engineering, selling may never become a “profession” because it doesn’t have a self-appointed or governmental body to oversee, regulate, or monitor its activities. In addition, salespeople have no formal or informal educational requirements and no code of ethics to believe in or adhere to.

The fact that we may not be formally a profession doesn’t mean that we can’t conduct ourselves and our business in a profess­ional manner. So, if we can’t be a profession, let’s at least be professional.

Here are some of the qualities that are important in a sales professional, or better put, this is what “IT” is:

Positive Attitude

Sales professionals are up, positive people. They’re the kind of people others like to be around. When they enter a room, the mood is lifted. They recognize the old adage that life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it, and they react to life in a positive manner.

Enthusiasm

Like attitude, enthusiasm is something we have complete control over, unless we choose other­wise. Enthusiasm isn’t the rah-rah, in-your-face hype that can turn off some people. It’s a positive expression of your belief in your product and yourself and being prepared to let that belief show to others.

Persistence

Many salespeople are quick to drop a potential opportunity. They expect instant results and if a sale doesn’t close quickly, they move on to the next one. They forget that most sales are made after the fifth contact and that most prospects will voice five or more objections before making a buying decision. Salespeople have to learn to hang in there until the prospect either buys or dies.

Drive

To be successful in sales you must have an inner drive that pushes you towards your personal goals. No goals combined with no drive makes for no success.

Desire & Discipline

Many “wannabe” salespeople simply don’t have these two qualities and don’t understand why they aren’t successful. You must have the desire (and drive) to succeed and the discipline to do what is required to be a success.

Integrity

This one really has three parts:

  1. Maintain honesty and integrity in all relationships with customers, prospective customers, and colleagues, and continually work to earn their trust and respect.
  2. Accurately represent my products or services to the best of my ability in a manner that places my customer or prospective customer and my company in a position that benefits both.
  3. Respect my competitors and their products and services by representing them in a manner which is honest, truthful and based on accurate information that has been substantiated.

So there you have IT!

SalesForce Training & Consulting is a professional services firm and Salesforce.com training firm based in Toronto, with training centers in Boston and Chicago, helping sales leaders achieve truly lasting behavior change amongst their sales teams.

Discover why traditional sales training doesn’t work.

by   Mark Christie