Attributes of a Successful Salesperson

We all have our own personalities that help to shape our style as salespeople, but there are several guidelines that we can (and should) follow to be a successful salesperson.  Entire books have been written dedicated to this subject, so this will be a heavily abbreviated list, so feel free to look for these books by the key words below.



This starts with showing an interest in both your product and your prospect.  Since you are offering a valuable product or service.  You have the opportunity to help your prospect protect both their own and their family’s future.  You even get to ensure your future by earning a commission.

Your excitement is contagious.  If you are excited, your prospect will be also.



Many salespeople confuse excitement and enthusiasm.  Excitement is conveyed by your attitude toward your prospect and product.  Enthusiasm is conveyed through your passion to provide a solution that will fulfill your prospect’s needs.  Show that passion and you will gain your prospect’s interest.



We are experts in our fields, therefore the sheer amount of specialized information we possess is awe inspiring.  Many salespeople fall into the trap of over-educating the prospect, or using industry jargon.  When you do this, you can push your prospect from interested to bored.  This is called talking yourself out of the sale.

So how do we prevent this?  Start by giving your prospect just enough information to make a decision, then test the waters with a soft close.  Don’t worry if the prospect says no because this is your chance to take the next step.



Your prospect may have said no to your soft close or just asked a clarifying question.  Here, and over the next step, is where the real sale is going to be made.  We talk to so many people every day and get the same responses over and over again.  It is so easy to start anticipating the questions that our prospects commonly ask.  The worst thing you can do is answer a question that wasn’t asked.  The same is true for objections.  Don’t fall for the trap of anticipating an objection.  A poorly placed rebuttal will only suggest the objection to the prospect.



Now that you have listened to the question or objection, craft the correct response.  A great way to do this without sounding scripted is with the A.R.M. method.  A.R.M. stands for Acknowledge, Respond, Move-on.

Start by acknowledging the prospect’s question or objection.  “I understand that…” repeat the objection.  This will show the prospect that you were listening and will give you time to craft a suitable response.

Next respond to the prospect’s question or objection.  It is important to not sound to rehearsed at this point.  Make the prospect think you just crafted this response specifically for them.  This is a good place to use a strategic “um…” to convey spontaneity.

Finally, move on with the sales process.  Assume that you successfully answered the question, your prospect will let you know if you didn’t.  Always keep the conversation moving forward.



Know your product!  Your prospects will see you as the expert, don’t let them down.  This is the easiest guideline to follow.  As a financial professional, you need to keep abreast of changes in regulations.  Keep learning and you will be ahead of your prospects needs.



Tenacity is the quality of being very determined.  You need to be determined to provide your prospect with the best service they have ever had.  Always be determined to match the correct product at the correct price.

Understand that not every person will tell you “Yes.”  That’s OK.  Just remember that a no today does not mean a no forever.  Maybe the prospect was having a bad day.  Perhaps he just had a major expense.  Maybe you were just not on your game today.  Use your tenacity to follow up in six months.    Most of all, don’t give up on the prospect or yourself.



This may seem like the easiest thing, but it can be the hardest at times.  There are two things to believe in.

To start, you must believe in your product, your company and your industry.  If you do not believe in it, how can you expect your prospect to.  This is the easy thing to believe in, though.  You also need to believe in yourself.  You may be saying to yourself, I believe in myself.  Everyone goes through a dry spell here and there.  Going through enough presentations without closing a sale can make the greatest salesperson doubt himself.  Don’t let that shake your belief in your own abilities.  You adopted the attribute before and it worked.  So, go back to the basics, re-center on the attributes and start anew.  Always believe in yourself, your prospects will believe and trust in you as well.

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