As they get There’s no use in sugar-coating it. Sales can be challenging.
And it’s not for everyone.
In reality, many people who start out in a sales career eventually transition to other careers in other industries where it’s not as hard.
But the upside isn’t as high either.
And, for the right kind of person, sales – particularly, direct sales – can be an exciting and really rewarding career. After all, in how many other careers can you be your own boss, drive your own schedule, and take command of your own earning potential?
Want to know if you have what it takes?
At Solcomm, where we recruit, train, and develop top sales talent, we’ve identified 7 traits common to all of our top performers that keep them in the game, developing professionally, and growing their income.
1. The Best Reps Are Willing to Put in a Full Work Day
One of the best things about sales is the flexibility.
There’s no clock to punch.
You’re your own boss.
You set your own schedule.
Want to take a long lunch? Up to you.
Start late? You can.
Quit early? If you like.
It’s a career with a lot of freedom and not a lot of direct supervision (though we do have training and coaching sessions).
But sales is often a numbers game. The more doors you knock, the more people you talk to, the more deals you close. And the more deals you close, the more money you make.
The best sales representatives know this and work hard every day.
They don’t punch a clock, because they don’t need to punch a clock. They’re internally motivated to succeed. They develop good habits, get up early, get started early, and work all day.
In so doing, they put up the requisite numbers and get a lot of contacts. As they get more contacts, they refine their skill. Which leads to more successful conversations. Which leads to more sales. Which leads to more money. Which increases motivation….
It’s a virtuous cycle that spins upward, eventually compounding into substantial results.
2. The Best Reps are Willing to Ask for the Sale
One reason why sales are hard is because people are it’s scary.
Many people are afraid of rejection and, as a result, don’t ask for the sale. Or, if they’re told “no,” don’t follow up later to see if that “no” might turn into a “yes.”
The best sales reps aren’t afraid to ask for what they want, but they also aren’t too pushy or aggressive. They recognize that “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” so they just take the shot.
This is especially true for our reps, whom we teach a good system of closing that focuses on the value our products add, ultimately pulling customers along, so that they’re more likely to say “yes” when asked for the sale.
3. Great Reps are Curious & Take Initiative
Sales are like sports. You can always get better.
Even Michael Jordan didn’t make 100% of the shots he took.
But, the feedback that you get from mistakes you make, rejections you hear, and customer opinions can provide a wealth of knowledge to help you improve.
It’s your “game tape.”
The best sales reps are curious and take initiative to perform better. They want to know what they’re doing wrong. Scratch that, they have to know.
Because they’re aware that bit of knowledge can help them to improve the next time.
And, since sales is a numbers game and they’re already willing to put in the hours, they know that every incremental improvement in the numbers compounds exponentially.
4. Great Reps Have Great Mindsets
If you’re the kind of person when, hearing bad news or getting poor feedback is likely to sulk or mope, then this might not be the right career for you.
Great sales reps aren’t easily defeated.
They’re competitive, they want to win, and they push themselves in their craft.
This competition, however isn’t with their customers or even their quotas.
It’s with themselves.
They know that there is no such thing as failure – there’s only results. And results are the feedback that fuel their competitive spirit.
5. The Best Reps Are Goal-Oriented. And Persevere
Everyone has tough days. Even top performers.
But, what top performers do differently is bounce back. They persevere. And they’re resilient.
They know sales can be a grind, but they’re goal-oriented and so, when things are hard, they have a strong “why” that pulls them forward.
Moreover, the best representatives set short, medium, and long term goals that they’re passionate about accomplishing.
For example, they may have a daily goal of knocking on 50 doors. A monthly goal of generating $10,000 in commissions. And an annual goal of clearing $180,000 in total income.
So, when the door is closed on them 50 times on any given day, they still succeeded. Because they knocked on all the doors.
And they know, the numbers game that it is, tomorrow is likely to be better.
6. Good Reps Follow Good Processes
When starting out, everyone needs a playbook.
Heck, we’ve done lots of sales and we know there are some processes that just work.
The best reps take their training to heart and execute their processes so well that they make it look easy.
Over time, they make the process they’re own, but, if they get derailed, they just fall back on the process.
After all, they know that fundamentals beat flair every day.
Because they’re curious, take initiative, and persevere, they’re constantly improving upon their processes, keeping themselves and their prospects organized, and continually grow their careers – and their incomes.
7. Ultimately, the Best Reps are Clear & Ambitious
Ultimately, the best sales reps are clear about who they are, what they want, the value they add…and are ambitious in execution.
They have confidence in themselves, rely on their coaching, follow good processes and take advantage of every opportunity presented to them.
And, as it turns out, our best reps don’t beat the average by 100%, but by 300% or more.
And that passion, that opportunism begets a cycle of success.
Any of this sound like you?
If any of this sounds like you – and you want to accelerate your career – we encourage you to reach out and apply for one of our roles. We’re always looking for top talent who we can help make even better.