OK, OK. Let's agree that on planet Earth at this time we cannot achieve sales perfection. But we can approach it. You can get better.
To become a "perfect sales professional," you must master many elements. I know many of them, some learned in the school of hard knocks, others from people like you, still others from books and sales seminars—all tempered in the crucible of thousands of sales presentations.
Undoubtedly, I missed some. And this is where I need your help.
I have set up a survey here: Bill Good Marketing: The Perfect Sales Professional Survey. It's designed to help you assess your “state of sales perfection.” It is also designed to help me see what I’ve missed.
I think there are some characteristics that I have just taken for granted. I am hoping, when you take my survey, that you will take a few minutes, think about the skills you have just evaluated, and tell me what I missed.
When you complete the survey, as my way of saying "Thanks," I will send you to a hidden website, the "Sales Perfection Resource Guide," where you can download my white paper, "The Good Way to Sell." It's all about your sales process. Don't miss it.
I have also added many links and resources to help you master each of the "best practices" that make up this vital skill. But wait, there's more! If you contribute a best practice, I will send you the final list of all characteristics which together make up the perfect sales professional. You only get the list if you think long and hard and tell me at least one characteristic I have overlooked.
Perfection and practices
First, my theory on "best practices." A best practice is a technique or process which, through experience or formal study, is believed to produce results superior to other techniques or processes.
Sales is a complex process.
In my experience, there is no one best practice adopted by the greats and ignored by the also-rans. Rather, sales success is determined exclusively and only by implementing more best practices better.
Each of the characteristics I am listing in this article constitutes a best practice. Books, or at least chapters, could be and have been written on each.
The perfect sales professional would execute each of the sales best practices as well as or better than anyone.
Many of these skills can take years to perfect. Others, days or weeks.
All of them together perhaps a decade.
All I have been able to do in this article is just identify them.
A note of caution: In this article, I am focusing only on sales. I am not including prospecting, client service, systems within your company, or anything else.
Sales is the process of increasing desire and reducing fear to the point desire to own a product or service outweighs fear of loss.
With that in mind, consider this: The sale begins with the first appointment. What comes before is prospecting. What comes after is client service. This article is all about the sales professional.
People buy from someone. Or they are sold by someone they like and trust. Without these personal skills, nothing else really matters.
Communication Skills. Too many sales people talk too much and they interrupt. Great sales professionals do neither.
Dress for Success. The reality is: business suits are a form of authority clothing.
Work Ethics. There is a lot of work to build and maintain a sales career. If anyone told you that you can build a career in a 40-hour week, they lied.
Emotional Impact. I'm not sure this can be taught. This feature is perhaps 5% of your success, but 100% of your failure. If you cannot impact people, you cannot change the direction of their lives.
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