My 5 Traits of Great Sales People: Pead | radioinfo

My 5 Traits of Great Sales People: Pead

Sunday 13 November, 2016
A hunter's mentality. Image: Shutterstock

Peady's Selling Engagement sponsored by IRD Prospector




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My 5 Traits of Great Sales People

Selling media, in fact selling anything is not for the timid or faint of heart. Research from the Canadian Professional Sales Association has shown that 55% of people engaged in selling are in the wrong profession; while another 20-25% have the essential attributes to sell, but they should be selling something other than what they are currently selling!

As regular readers will be aware I get to work with a wide cross-section of media sales people - from those brand new to industry all the way up the tree to the rare elite performers and everything in between.

It’s my observation that those who survive and those who prosper have some common traits and if you are a sales manager about to hire a new team member consider this list:

1. A Hunter’s Mentality: These days our industry has very little room for the old fashioned “farmer” so the attitude of a hunter is a key trait. Someone who is going to get excited about "the big fish", someone who will wade through a lot of information and suspects in order to put themselves in a position to land as many big accounts as possible. That kind of drive pushes them to always look for the next big thing. 

2. Resilience and Tenacity: Selling media often means that rejection is a very real part of the selling cycle so a great salesperson isn't easily discouraged, and doesn't take the rejection on a personal level. Additionally, the best sales people are truly tenacious and never give up. They keep pushing forward and won’t take no for an answer. 

3. Ego and Confidence: Perhaps even a little arrogance. The best salespeople I have met are the ones who have great personality, are confident in what they do and how they do it and never let go of opportunities. They have the ability to walk into a meeting with a clear plan and the ability to implement it. 

4. Empathy: Personal empathy is an essential quality - they relate to the customer or client and support them in choosing the right solutions. It shows up as listening more than talking, relating to the other person in conversation and genuine drive for an agreed outcome. 

5. They are Coachable: Experience isn’t nearly as important as “coachability”. Being energetic, willing to learn and having the ability to adapt are all a part of being “coachable.” Coachable also means being an early adopter of new ways even if they seem at odds with what has worked in the past. Maybe another way to describe “coachable” is open to new ideas. 

Others might argue that there are many other traits that should be on this list: experience, discipline, personality, product knowledge, people skills…..the list goes on. And you’d be right they are necessary however my top 5 are critical. Without all of them you won’t succeed in our business.

Until next week good selling!

About the author 

Stephen Pead is a media industry veteran of 30 years with significant experience in direct sales, sales management and general management. He is based in Sydney and specialises in helping SME’s market their businesses more effectively and providing training for salespeople and sales managers.

He can be contacted at [email protected]


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