We all want to hire star sales people.  Finding one, however, is more difficult than you can imagine.

Here’s the key to spotting and hiring a star sales person.  Don’t be sidetracked by what he/she knows relative to products or industries, and don’t be blinded by how he or she looks.  Instead, concentrate on who he/she is.

These six qualities of character that mark star sales people of any industry all describe who they are, not what they know.

Let’s consider each one.

Number four on the list of necessary qualities is the ABILITY TO BUILD POSITIVE BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS. Sales is, more than anything else, the activity of developing relationships with quantities of people which result in those people trusting the salesperson, feeling positive feelings about him/her, and believing the things he/she says.

So, the successful sales person is the individual who can quickly build trusting relationships with all sorts of people.  That requires empathy, the ability to listen, perceptiveness, and the ability to mold himself/herself into the kind of person the prospect needs.

Those are relationship-building skills.  And the most successful salespeople are relationship builders.

I often have eliminated prospective sales people during an interview when they interrupted me too many times, or weren’t sensitive to what I was communicating to them during the interview.  If they weren’t good at building a relationship with me, they certainly were not going to be able to build relationships with customers.

A side thought — many of the most successful sales people I have known have had negative personal relationships. Sometimes sales people can readily build business relationships which turn into friendships, but are unable to build strong relationships in their personal lives.  On the other hand, some people who have very strong personal relationships with their spouses, children, and friends, are unable or unwilling to build good business relationships.  The characteristic that defines a star sales person is the specific ability to build good business relationships.

Your job, as a prospective employer, is to find that ability to build those kind of relationships — to build trust, to have people feel that the salesperson is personally interested in them, to have people believe in them and in what they’re saying.  That is one of the abilities which sets apart the mediocre from the great sales people.


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