In Grant Cardone’s book, Sell or Be Sold he talks about 10 Traits of a Great Sales Person.
1. Is willing to be told no.
“Can’t make the shot you never take,” said Wayne Gretzky. To be a great salesperson you have to be willing to be told no and then allow people to tell you no more than once. Most salespeople never ask for the order repeatedly, failing to even ask for the no, trying to avoid the very thing they are certain to end up with.
2. Asks for the order regardless.
Believe it or not this is the number one reason salespeople fail is because they just never ask, “Can I get your signature here and here, please?” Most salespeople believe they ask for the order more than they do and in fact never even asked the first time much less enough times. They are probably trying to avoid rejection, getting a no, or failure or because the discipline of asking hasn’t been developed yet. Many people who are unable to ask are operating under the false belief that if they are just nice to people the people will buy from them. Only a very small percentage of the people will buy from you without you asking, and most will only buy after you have asked five times. If you are unwilling to ask for the order you will only get the leftovers of those who are professionally trained to ask for an order.
3. Listens selectively.
If you are one of those people who believes everything someone says to you is true and that what people say is what they will do, you will be a disaster at selling. People will say many things to you that are close to meaningless: “I can’t afford it, we are on a budget.” “We aren’t buying today, we are going to wait until . . .” “We never buy at the first place.” “I have to talk to my wife.” “I’ll see you later today.” The list goes on and on. If you are a gullible person and just believe everything your client tells you is “the gospel,” sorry you aren’t cut out for selling.
4. Stays sold on their own story.
If you happen to be one of those personality types that is easily sold on another’s story and unable to hold your conviction and belief about those things you are sold on, you will suck at selling your own products and be great at getting sold on others. You are stuck in some kind of reverse boomerang universe where you intend to sell your story, products, or services, and then end up buying everyone’s stories rather than selling your own.
5. Asks questions.
If you hate asking questions and feel doing so is “too” personal or prying into someone’s business, you will not make it in the field of sales or as a negotiator. “What is your income?” “How long have you worked there?” “Who is the decision maker?” “Why can’t you do this?” These are questions you will have to learn to ask. If questions cause you discomfort that you are not willing to handle, this will determine your fate in sales or, for that matter, in all negotiations.
6. Gets answers to questions.
I know some salespeople who don’t mind asking questions, but they never take the time to actually get an answer. These people believe they are controlling the conversation by asking questions, but they fail as salespeople because they never insist on the answers. They ask a question and then ask another, sometimes answering questions themselves for the customer and never getting anywhere. The person who controls the sale is not the person simply asking questions, but the person who can get answers to questions.
7. Knows that price is not the issue.
If you believe the lowest price is the reason people buy things, then you should not consider sales. You should become a clerk at Wal-Mart or a waiter in a restaurant. Cheaper alternatives can replace 99.9 percent of all products on this planet. Whether it is a purse, phone, TV, automobile, insurance, mortgage, etc., someone, somewhere can and will sell it for less. Even more of a reality is that most of the things that are bought and sold are not necessary to have, so if a person wanted the lowest price, the thing to do would be to not buy it at all. Too high of a price is actually a myth and not the reason people buy anything, but if you believe the lowest price is the reason people buy things you should not be in sales.
8. Is willing to pressure and persist.
If you are one of those people who became convinced as a child by your parents, teacher, and environment that getting your way is a bad thing then you should avoid all sales jobs and any job involving negotiating, debating, or entrepreneurship. A diamond is only coal until the right amount of pressure is applied for the right amount of time. People will not separate from their money or make decisions without someone building value and then insisting on someone taking action. If you despise pressure or persistence don’t do sales and do not go into business for yourself.
9. Believes in selling as a good thing.
Most salespeople actually believe that what they are doing is wrong and unethical, and because they believe that what they are doing is a bad thing they will fail at it. Even one small dose of this type of thinking will kill your chances of ever making it in sales. Great salespeople are proud of their title and profession and know that nothing happens on this planet without salespeople.
10. Trains and prepares constantly.
If you are one of those people who thinks they are going to successfully sell just because of their natural abilities and who is unwilling to train and prepare, you will not make it as a salesperson. You can be an average salesperson, but you will probably die broke. Even great salespeople over the life of their careers will be plagued with competitive threats, industry changes, and challenging economies, and they will find themselves at risk. To be great at selling you will have to make a commitment to sales training, sales seminars and books, and staying connecting to sales tips and sales strategies.
About Grant Cardone
Grant Cardone is an international sales expert, New York Times best-selling author, and radio show host of The Cardone Zone. He has founded three companies: Cardone Enterprises, Cardone Real Estate Holdings, and the Cardone Group. He has shared his sales and business expertise as a motivational speaker and author of five books: Sell to Survive; The Closers Survival Guide; If You’re Not First, You’re Last; The 10X Rule; andSell or Be Sold.