Small businesses have the same dilemmas as larger companies when it comes to sales reps—finding good ones, motivating them, and keeping the top performers. There have been many books written on how to hire and train the best salespeople, and they’re probably all correct about one thing—it’s very difficult. You can have all the hiring guidelines and requirements you feel are necessary, but the only true factors are time and results.
Good sales reps go into every sales presentation feeling as if they will get the order but accepting the fact that they will lose some. After every presentation/interview, a sale is made by someone: Either the prospect buys the product or service, or the salesperson buys the prospect’s excuse about why he won’t purchase.
Many people love the freedom and rewards of sales and get an ego boost from every closed sale. After 35 years in sales-related positions, I still get excited when we get a new customer. And what other occupation allows you to do your job while eating lunch or driving in your convertible with the radio on? What other job lets you earn as much as you’re able to, with no ceiling, and allows you the freedom to motivate yourself ? It’s a career where your attitude and perseverance are your greatest tools.
So, where do you find excellent salespeople? If you have a home business, it’s probably just you. But if you have a small business with more than just one employee, you may have a designated salesperson. What qualities make a person excel in sales? Is a great salesperson born with the ability to sell, or is it learned? Let’s start there.