Too many salespeople these days are just that–salespeople. In the way they look, act and behave, they don't stand out from their peers. And they definitely don't stand out in the minds of their prospects and customers. Result? They get commoditized, shopped, talked down to and ignored. Here's a list of necessary attributes to move from 'salesperson' to 'advisor'.
1. Advisors don't fear a 'No' – They know when sales opportunities are a good fit or not. They prefer to lose early, save selling costs and go and engage with prospects with whom they have a higher percentage of getting the business.
2. Advisors know how to push back – If all salespeople do is show up and accept at face value everything prospects tell them about what they want or how they view the world, they are a facilitator in their prospect's eyes. Advisors know how to effectively challenge what they hear and see and in the process, build respect and value in the minds of their customers.
3. Advisors use 'business language' rather than 'sales language' – They discuss market share, ROI, share of wallet, cost reduction, etc. with their customers. Prospects want to buy from business people, not salespeople.
4. Advisors see themselves as change agents – They are experts in quickly determining if the customer's current reality calls for change and whether the customer can effectively and efficiently execute that change.
5. Advisors recover quickly from rejection – All people involved in the sales process get rejected. For some, it's a day killer, maybe a week killer. For a very few, it's a month killer. High achievers take a lesson from a lost sale and promptly move on to the next opportunity in their pipeline.
6. Advisors control the sales process – They use a formal, structured sales process designed to achieve consistent, predictable results while providing them with feedback relative to where they are in the process and what they must do to succeed.
7. Advisors have clear and specific personal goals…in writing – They know where they are going, what they must do to get there and how they will measure progress. Period.
8. Advisors build relationships quickly – They perceive, gather and interpret all the information that prospects give out–body language, behavioral style, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), birth order, educational background, industry expertise, organizational title–and use that knowledge to make other people feel comfortable and safe with them…in a very short period of time.
9. Advisors are great listeners – There is a Native American proverb, "Listen or your tongue will make you deaf". Enough said.
10. Advisors are life long learners – Whether its reading industry trade journals, books on selling or human psychology or listening to self-inprovement audio CD's, high achievers are constantly adding to their knowledge, looking for strategies and tools that will give them that decisive edge over the competition that gains them the sale.