Traits of a Star Salesperson

The top-performing salespeople in any industry are an elite group. They consistently outperform other salespeople, even though their circumstances are similar to those of the rest of the team – same leads, same products, same marketplace. What makes star salespeople different is their approach to sales and life in general. Here are some of the qualities that all-star salespeople have in common.

Stars Are Ethical

Businessman talking in meeting
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Top salespeople don't use deception or outright lies to secure a sale. They know that these tactics will eventually kill the salesperson's reputation and result in no sales at all (and probably get him fired in the process). Worse, because of the Internet, a bad reputation will linger indefinitely, following the salesperson to future jobs.

Stars Put the Customer First

Prospects don't care about your quota or the fact that your sales manager is nagging you to close a deal ASAP. They have their own problems to worry about. A star salesperson approaches sales from the mindset of 'What can I do for this prospect today?' and not 'How can I close a deal?' Star salespeople are like matchmakers. They find the right prospect and the right product and put them together to make the prospect happy.

Stars Own Their Mistakes

Star salespeople don't try to blame problems or errors on someone else – the technical support team, the shipping department, someone at the prospect's office, etc. In fact, they don't hesitate to shoulder the problem even when it's completely not their fault. A star salesperson is focused on making it right for the customer, not on shifting the blame elsewhere.

Stars Make Themselves Available

A salesperson who vanishes the second the deal closes is doing both the customer and himself a disservice. Star salespeople know that when they close the sale, it's just the start of their relationship with that customer. They make it easy for customers to reach them with any questions or concerns, follow up on a regular basis, and continue to develop the business relationship between themselves and their customers over time. Doing so not only keeps the customer happy but guarantees future referrals and testimonials from satisfied customers.

Stars Do Their Homework

A star salesperson prepares for each and every appointment. He researches the prospect as early in the sales cycle as possible – ideally, as soon as he gets the lead. He takes notes during the cold call and the appointment to keep track of the prospect's needs and questions and uses this information to design just the right sales approach for that person. This makes the sales process pleasant for both parties and also helps to expedite the sale.

Stars Have a Plan

Star salespeople don't just live by the quotas assigned by a sales manager. A star salesperson knows what she wants to accomplish and gets it done. Star salespeople set short-term goals to identify and provide for their immediate needs, and also have a long-term goal or two that they are gradually and consistently working to attain.

Stars Are Organized

Salespeople who don't know how many sales they've made for the month or how close they are to closing the ones in the pipeline are going to have a much harder time beating their quotas than a salesperson who consistently tracks her activities. Star salespeople are always aware of the status of their pipelines and keep an eye on their progress towards their quotas. They plan their sales activities based on what they need to accomplish most to make the sales they need. As a result, they regularly blow past their quotas – and profit from it thanks to their fat commission checks.