What makes a good sales rep? That might depend on which side of the table you are sitting on. If you own a company, you probably gauge sales success based on numbers. The largest revenue generator is the best. As the sales customer, you probably have a different set of criteria. Starting my marketing career as a media buyer, I had the pleasure (sometimes not) of working with all types of media sales reps. That experience allowed me to learn how to be a good salesperson to my client and a good revenue producer for my employer. As an employer you want a productive and client focused rep, as the buyer, you want a rep that is there to serve you and your business. From the outside looking in, both employer and customer should expect the same from their sales person.
Qualities. Good sales people should be professional. Act professionally, and dress professionally. Send out introduction letters or e-mails. Call for an appointment. Dropping in on someone in the middle of his or her workday accomplishes little except animosity. Please don’t encourage your sales staff to “door knock”. The days of strong arming one-call sales are done. A good salesperson will be sensible with decisions that represent you and your product or service while respecting the business he or she is trying to close.
A good salesperson will know about their client, their business and how the product they are selling is beneficial. This is really important so I‘m going to say it again. A good salesperson will sell the positive link between their product and their client’s business. A sales appointment should not be an opportunity for the salesperson to spew company history or hype product features. If there is not a benefit to the client, there is not a sale. Simple. This is also not an opportunity to ask ridiculous questions of the customer that could have easily been answered with a little research. Probing questions of client needs –good. Idiotic questions like store hours—bad.
A good salesperson will ask about client goals and design a sale that will meet these goals. A red flag should immediately go up if a salesperson comes in with a canned product or service. This is something that the salesperson needs to sell, not something the client needs to buy. The sales proposal from your rep should be individually customized. A good salesperson knows this and will not sell forced product. A salesperson that wants to work with you for the long haul will actually walk away from business that won’t benefit a long-term relationship. A short-term sale will result in short term income, and there are many reps that survive on that type of selling practice. Good professional reps will shun it.
After the sale a good sales person will follow up with their customer. They will do whatever it takes to correct a problem and demonstrate how it was resolved. A good salesperson will embrace the opportunity to make sure expectations are exceeded so that they will have a long-term customer that will trust and recommend the salesperson and their product.
Lastly, a good salesperson will have integrity and truly care about their clients. They will honor their word, price fairly, and deliver as promised. When you have this person on staff representing you, be grateful. This person will represent you and your company well, while at the same time be highly productive. If this salesperson is your rep, be grateful. He/or she is a resource for you and a valuable part of your team.