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What separates the good from the great? In sales, we have found that there are certain characteristics that all superstars possess that help them break away from the pack.
While many salespeople will have an individual style and “flair” to their approach, there are four common traits we typically see in superstars that allows them to achieve more than the rest: Desire, commitment, personal responsibility and outlook.
Desire: This trait can also be described as the will to win or what Chet Holmes describes as “pig-headed discipline and determination.” All superstars will have this desire to reach and exceed the goals set forth by themselves and/or the company. They will typically fall into the top 20 percent of your sales force that will bring in 80 percent of the total company revenue. A strong desire to win in a salesperson translates into them staying focused, motivated and consistent on executing their sales activities while rolling with the inevitable punches that come in the sales game. This internal drive to succeed is apparent in their output.
Commitment: This trait of a superstar lends itself to their ability to do whatever they need to do in order to be the best they can be. Being a salesperson and regarding it as someone’s job is one thing. Living, breathing and eating the art of sales and truly making it a career is another. And that’s what superstars are all about. They are persistent in their quest to develop, execute and then hone their skills so when they see their target, they immediately know what to do in order to seize the sale, or determine that prospect is not a worthwhile endeavor. Even the most talented, highest-producing salesperson never considers they have learned it all, rather, they constantly look for ways to further enhance their skillset.
Personal Responsibility: This characteristic has a lot to do with what many salespeople are afraid of or not willing to take accountability for: Their own actions. In superstar salespeople, a sense of ownership and responsibility leads to many great aspects of their sales output such as consistency in their sales activities and being accountable for reaching target numbers and accepting the success or failure of those numbers. In addition, personal responsibility also means the rep being accountable for what they do or do not know in order to be highly efficient and effective. All of this allows the superstar to empower themselves towards the drive of reaching maximum potential.
Outlook: The fourth trait that we find in the top tier of sales superstars is that of a positive outlook. Superstars possess a positive self-image of not only themselves, but also a positive image of what their success will look like. Those salespeople who see themselves as a failure, or see themselves “tapping out” at a certain level of activity (and sales), are most likely to live up to that self-defeating expectation.
Superstars, on the other hand, see, taste and hear the success that they have set out to achieve. It’s not a case of “If I reach that goal” it’s a matter of “When I reach that goal” and in your biggest superstars, “When I reach and break that goal.” Superstars with a positive outlook also tend to see the correlation of how reaching the company goals will in turn help them reach their personal goals.
While there are many other characteristics that make up a superstar rep, these four have been seen to be dominant and more common in reps across all industries, including the restoration industry. Take a look at your current sales staff or the person(s) responsible for making the sales for your company and see if they embody any or all of the above four qualities. While not every one of your salespeople will be a superstar, we find that many restorers struggle just to find a rep that will bring in satisfactory or above average results.
Regardless, you should always strive to have the best feet on the street delivering your company’s message and unique value proposition. Check out this recent article on “The Key to Hiring Great Salespeople” for more information on finding your next rep (and hopefully superstar!).
Tim Miller is the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Business Development Associates Inc. Miller is a highly regarded sales and marketing expert in the industry, and brings 30 years of experience and a unique perspective to help businesses solve their problems and grow to the next level. He is also a published author in several trade magazines and speaks at multiple industry events and conferences throughout the year, where he leverages his business experience in both the restoration industry and his other entrepreneurial ventures, including his own construction company in New Mexico.