TALKING SALES 64: "Attributes of top salespeople"

John Smibert

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"What attributes are common in top salespeople" -  Interview by John Smibert

Wayne BerryIn this interview the Top Gun sales coach Wayne Berry discusses some of the 10 key attributes that top salespeople possess.

Wayne states that there is no secret to sales success. He claims that these top 10 characteristics are no secret - you can see most or all in the successful ones. And we can all strive to develop these attributes.

Some of the attributes that Wayne discusses are 'Attitude',  'Prospecting', 'Questioning skills',  and focus on 'Gaining commitment'.

See the full interview below.

Wayne Berry is the Top Gun Sales Guru and Coach and has authored 5 best selling books on selling.


John: Hello! I'm here again with Wayne Berry, Australia's top gun sales coach - welcome back, Wayne!

Wayne: Thank you!

John: When we last had a discussion we talked about the definition of sales, and sales being helping people from your definition, and you mentioned that salespeople that are the top salespeople - the really top performers - are people that do that. But I know you've got a lot of other things that top salespeople actually do. I'd like to share some of that with our audience.

Wayne: Okay. I think it a question of what's the secret to success in sales? Well, frankly, there's no secret. If you really look at what it is that the high-performing salespeople do... And we have, we did a really massive study back in 1990 and 1991, and we conducted this study many times since. We've determined that there are basically a top 10. There's 10 key characteristics of all high-performing salespeople, they're good at 10 things. Now, many salespeople believe that you've got to be good at hundreds of things. Well, no. There are just 10 key areas, which if you're very, very good in each of those areas it makes a world of difference.

John: And I  imagine if you break that down to just even three or four you'd be a good salesperson.

Wayne: Well, number one is, of course, 'Attitude'.

John: 'Attitude'.

Wayne: As you know that now. 'Attitude' is 80% of our success in life, it comes down to attitude. And that is an attitude of helpfulness, genuine caring, sincerity; that is all 'attitude'. And, of course, motivation: getting out of bed, going out and believing that you're really helping people; that's all attitude.

And then the other key areas would include things like 'Prospecting' - your ability to be able to get on the phone - how I call it "make your own luck" - call people regardless of whether the lead has come to you, or whether you were just targeting - and make your own luck -  get on the phone and know how to do that.

John: With the intent that you're going to do create value for those people - and you're going to help, yes.

Wayne: Yes absolutely help. And if you don't have that attitude it's going to come through. Most people don't prospect well because they fear rejection, and it's because they're going about it the wrong way. And then the ability to sit down with somebody face to face, ask them the appropriate 'Questions', to build trust, build rapport, identify their needs, both their logical needs and their psychological or right-brain emotional needs. And then make a recommendation,  if appropriate, to fulfill those needs. Now, that's a whole lot of words, but there's a real skill in being able to ask questions. In fact, if you ask the right questions the person will sell themselves.

And, of course, all they're really doing is when you ask the appropriate question they'll talk about a benefit that they want, and if that's a benefit of something you can provide then it's very, very easy, and you know if you've done it well, because at the end of that initial interview if you've asked the right questions they'll say "John, what do you think I should do?" Now they're ready to hear a presentation, and that's the next key skill: being able to present a solution in such a way that it taps into the person's psychological needs, their right-brain emotional needs, as well as their logical needs. Then, of course, being able to know how to 'Ask for a commitment'. Now, I don't call it closing the sale; it's asking for a commitment. Closing is like you close something, it's...

John: I hate the word, I tell you... Again, talking about bad connotations in sales "I'm going to close this guy."  No, you're not! You're going to work out how you're going to help the guy, and ask the guy if they really need to be helped!

Wayne: So, you're asking the person, you're confirming the sale or confirming the next step of the sale. And you're also asking the person to make a commitment not to you but to themselves, to change some aspect of their life, business or professional.

John: I like that perspective, yes. Not to me, to themselves.

Wayne: You just facilitate that. And I think it's also important that if you believe that what you're recommending is right for the client, if you don't have them commit to themselves to improve their life... Well, you're really letting them down, and if you come at it from that perspective rather than "This is something I'm trying to push you into." - never, never do that. But, you know "This is going to be good for you, and I suggest make this commitment to yourself to change this part of your life, to improve."
John: Okay. Thank you very much for that, Wayne! I think the audience is going to get a lot of value out of that - thank you!

Wayne: I certainly hope so - thank you!


More interviews with Wayne Berry:



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