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In his 2009 book, Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way, international business consultant and business development expert Ron Karr claims that truly great salespeople all share seven common traits, each of which can be developed by home-based and other small business opportunity or franchise owners. The key is to know what those traits are so that you can make strides each and every day toward becoming the best and most effective salesperson you can be.
According to Karr, great sellers…
Practice Visualization―They have a vision of what they want to achieve in the future. They set that vision―that purpose―in their mind and work backward from there. They plan to reach set goals, but do not get wrapped up in tasks such that they forget what their ultimate destination is―and their vision is not always about money. In fact, money, Karr argues, is actually a distraction when it comes to following your true purpose. Moreover, the job of great salespeople is to not only know what their own vision is, but that of their customers as well. For customers to see value in what is being offered, great sellers must examine and articulate how their customer’s desired results align with their own vision.
Position Themselves Carefully―They know that first impressions are everything and that they only have a very limited timeframe in which to get their message across. Great salespeople position themselves as leaders right away, as the most uniquely qualified resource for their prospects and always with a totally customer-driven mindset.
Build Alliances―They use relationships wherever and whenever possible to accomplish their goals and are able to build bridges on both the buying and selling sides that benefit both them and their customers. They know that the key to being a great seller is to make contact with new people every day and to not become complacent. Constant expansion in a salesperson’s sphere of influence results in the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.
Ask Good Questions―They know how to probe a prospect for answers to questions that in turn will enable them to articulate the difference between where their customers are and where they want to be in the future. Great sellers can connect with their prospect’s world, uncover their satisfaction concerns and capitalize on them in such a way that they quickly become the leader in the relationship.
Create Powerful Value Propositions―They adhere to and can clearly demonstrate Karr’s equation that says the Cost of No Change (CNC) must be substantially greater than the Cost of Change (CC). Only then will the prospect recognize the Perceived Value (PV) of buying the seller’s product or service. Great salespeople are very adept at making sure the PV to any customer is great enough that it warrants their taking some desired action.
Communicate Persuasively―They are constantly examining what’s changing in their customers’ world and adjusting their strategies, timing, audience rapport and style of delivery accordingly. Great sellers are always clear that the goal of any great presentation is not so much to be artful as it is to be effective―to close the sale.
Hold Themselves Accountable―They take personal responsibility and don’t make excuses. Great salespeople stick to their own vision and standards, and, when they make personal commitments, they stick to them too.
Sales advice is a dime a dozen. There are scores of “experts” writing articles, white papers, books, blogs, and more, and generally making a lot of noise about how to be successful in sales. And, unsurprisingly, the advice of one “expert” often contradicts the advice of another.
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