The sales industry is a competitive one, and to stand out, salespeople must understand what buyers want. The most successful reps understand not only what buyers want in a product or service, but what they want in a salesperson as well. The buyer’s impression of the salesperson can influence the purchase decision, so sales reps must be aware of how they represent themselves and present information. Sales management guru Ken Thoreson, in a blog post, shares 10 traits that buyers want in sellers, three of which I’ve included below:
- Listening skills. Buyers want to be heard, and they want someone who not only asks the right questions but actually listens to responses. To show buyers that you are listening, Thoreson suggests taking notes while they speak, then summarize and restate what they’ve said. Most importantly, listen for confirmation that what you heard and repeated is actually what they wanted to convey!
- Honesty. Don’t make up answers or tell clients what you think they want to hear. Also, avoid using the phrase, “let me be honest with you,” which suggests that you haven’t been honest with them all along.
- More than a salesperson. Don’t just push product. As Thoreson explains, “talking only about features and functions went out in the ’70s. Top performers focus on helping buyers achieve their business goals.” Try videotaping your sales presentation and watching it from the buyer’s point of view. This will help you determine whether you are helping and not just selling.
Compare your own sales traits against those that are highly regarded by buyers. How do you measure up?