As I write this, I’m listening to a debate on our station about the NFL Draft. The hosts are going back and forth about whether or not a particular player is too short and too slow while going over their statistics from the combine. One of the hosts asked the other what they thought the perfect player at that position looked like and whether or not that player really existed. The other host agreed that very few, if any, players in NFL history were really the perfect make up.
All the talk about prospects and what a perfect player looks like, got me thinking about our business, and what a perfect salesperson might look like…
The first thing you would want is what I call “the first impression closer.” When this person walks in someone’s office for the first time, do they immediately look at them and think, “This is someone I can see myself doing business with?” The first glimpse of a person, the first words said by a person and the tone of the person’s words are three things people will evaluate quickly.
Next, they’d need to be someone who can be trusted. This works a couple of ways. As an employer or manager, can you trust this person to do the job? Will they consistently prospect, cold-call, do CNA’s, present, close the decision makers and service? To the clients, can this person be trusted to look out for the best interest of the business and only bring ideas that will help grow revenues and not just the package du jour. Will they service the account or just come in when it’s renewal time?
Creativity would be high up on my list. Reps who are good at coming up with ideas for their clients generally retain more business. Whether it be a traffic driving promotion, something designed to increase social following, or simply putting together really good copy, if you can make your clients stand out in creative ways, you’ll provide the best added value they can ask for.
The perfect seller would have Energizer Bunny-esque work ethic. If your sales manager has to think about whether or not you are someone who works hard at the job, something is wrong. They should see it in the way you move. I’ve mentioned this before, but the best compliment I’ve ever been given from a boss was one who told me that “wind moved when I walked,” translated as – I move with a purpose because I’m busy trying to make things happen.
Along those same lines, this person would need to be “on” twenty-four-seven. Ours is far from a 9-5 business and the really successful reps know that you’re, at the very least, always prospecting for new business.
I give everyone I interview the same scenario to describe to them what a successful seller in our industry is like. I describe a scene where you are eating dinner with someone and you overhear the person behind you describing their new business to a friend of theirs. The best in our industry will make sure they don’t leave that restaurant without introducing themselves and giving a card to the business owner behind them.
If there was such a thing as the salesperson combine, these would be the skills I would want to see. Give me a trustworthy, well-spoken and well-dressed, creative person with endless energy and the ability to always be looking for ways to connect with decision makers and I’ll put them at the top of my draft board every single time.