Selling And Sales Essay, Research Paper
The exact characteristics necessary for a salesperon to be sucessful are not exactly known. Many researchers throughout the years have listed out the traits that they felt were important, but there is no evidence to support their findings. I personally feel that there are three distinctive traits that a sales person needs in order to be successful.
The first characteristic that I feel is important is the salesperson s personality. Personality is the sum total of all the behavioural and mental characteristics by means of which an individual is recognized as being unique. (Donaldson, 1998) There are several layers in a person s personality that are important in selling, but the one I find most important is empathy. Empathy is the ability to feel as the other person does in order to be able to make the sales. This is particularly important in the computer software industry. For example, if a customer wants to purchase a financial package for the computer, it s important for the salesperson to find out: what type of computer the customer has, the customer s level of computer literacy, what exactly he want the package to do for him, etc. Once the salesperson knows this information, the salesperson as such is able to step into the customer s shoes , and analyze the situation finding the best software package that fits the customers needs. If the salesperson didn t posses empathy, then the salesperson could have recommended a software package that was too complex for the consumer to use or just plainly didn t do what he wanted it to do.
Confidence is the second characteristic that I feel is important to a salesperson. It has been said that those people who possess higher levels of self-confidence are more likely to enjoy selling and be successful. A seller s confidences in there own ability, the product, and the company for which they represent are conveyed to the buyer through their actions. For example, if a salesperson is trying to sell an anti-virus program for the computer, and is unable to look a customer in the eye when explaining the details and performance of the product, the consumer may be discouraged to buy it. The customer could have interpreted the salesperson s actions as being insincere, or as having a lack of confidence in the product he was trying to sell, when in reality the salesperson was nervous. If the salesperson was confident, his belief in the product would have been conveyed to the customer and his communication skills would have improved and the customer would have felt safer knowing that the program was going to protect his computer. In this case, the salesperson s lack of confidence cost him a sale.
The third characteristic that I feel is important to a sales person is their level of overall knowledge. In order for a salesperson to be successful at his job, then it is important for them to know w bit about the product, the company, and its competitors. Salespeople are often asked questions concerning the products that they are selling and it s important for the salesperson to know the answers. For example, a salesperson in a computer store is confronted with a customer wanting to buy a word processing program for their computer. The customer has narrowed down his choices to Microsoft Word and Word Perfect and then approaches the salesperson wanting to know what the differences are between the two programs. The consumer might also want to know about the two companies involved because this would be important in terms of warranties and customer service help. If the salesperson is unsure of the answers, the consumer will just go to another store where they do know the answers to his questions. If the salesperson had adequate knowledge of the products, he would have been able to explain the differences to the customer, and the customer in turn would have had faith in the store and would have been more likely to conduct business there again. But due to the lack in knowledge, the relationship between the customer and the salesperson was never built and sales were lost.
The evidence on the characteristics of successful salespeople is inconclusive, and as Gillian (1982) explained, A particular kind of personality is not the key to success in selling and no particular kind of personality can guarantee success. To sum it all up, I feel that the best salespeople are the ones that have good communication skills and a well-rounded knowledge of the products.