I am often asked by colleagues, friends and even family “in your opinion, what is it that makes a successful sales person?”
It is easy to list some cliched characteristics: hardworking, self-starter, hungry for success, driven, ambitious, resilient and many more. Undoubtedly, these are all important but when I reflect on it, are these not factors you would need in any role?
What’s the secret? Is there a secret?
So, what are the magic ingredients that can be found in high performing successful sales people?
Never stop learning!
I have been fortunate to manage several very successful individuals who have achieved their goals in difficult circumstances (a declining market, a new entrant into an established market, the replacement for a high achiever who has moved on, or retired, etc.). The stand-out characteristic for me about this is that they never stop learning.
Learning about the customer’s business, keeping an eye on competitor activity, closely following market developments, keeping up-to-speed with technological enhancements, knowing about product innovations are also crucial. For me, the most critical learning for any sales person is that they commit to continuously learning about themselves.
“What you learn
after you know everything
is what really counts.”
Coach John Wooden’s
UCLA Basketball Teams
Won Ten NCAA Championships
From Good to Exceptional
Adapting your style and knowing how to react to bad times (and good times) is a key component of any successful sales person’s make-up. This often involves tackling difficult situations around pricing, quality complaints and creditworthiness. Having the skill to deal with these situations, without damaging the business relationship, separates the good from the exceptional.
A Skill Set for International Sales
working in an international sales role at PG Paper means extra skills have to be learned and developed:
- Impact of exchange rates when dealing with multiple currencies across 55 countries
- Knowledge of payment methods used in international trade
- Understanding and awareness of cultural differences in each market
- Working knowledge of Customs and Duty arrangements, and the appropriate documentation.
- INCO Terms as published by the International Chamber of Commerce
These are added dimensions to the factors discussed in this blog, and I am pleased to say that here at PG Paper, it is recognized that you never stop learning and our continuing success is testament to this.