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To be a successful sales person, three elements are key: knowledge, passion and fire in the belly.
Recruiters look for the sales person who appreciates that product knowledge is paramount. If they are selling a technical product, for example internet working Wide Area Networks, do you know what that means? You may not be the one who will install and configure the product (the engineers will) but do you know ALL the features of the product. Are you able to translate these features to the potential client? Are you able to interpret these features as value-adds to the potential client? Without adequate product knowledge, selling looks like treating earthquake victims covered in fatal wounds with band-aid.
A sales person needs passion. The kind of burning passion that makes you jump out of bed with a song and a spring in your step – literally. Let’s face it, selling may be a natural act, but the business world does not make it easy. You will face rejection, closed doors, askaris with dogs, uncooperative receptionists and all sorts of gate keepers. The gate keepers appear to be on the payroll of your competitors. They will test your self esteem, your ego, your pride and all that your esteem counselor has been hammering into your head. You must have enough passion in your heart to go back again and again until you gain entry into the decision maker’s office to sell your story.
The third feature we look for is a burning fire in the belly. That which says I am in a hurry to move on and get done. But I am with you, the customer, for the long haul. I am not a hit-and-run. I am in this profession for life and it is the only profession that is right for me. I have unfinished business, that I must complete. And that unfinished business is to create a relationship with you, the buyer, and win you to my side of the fence.
For Business Daily April 2010