By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling®
There are many successful professionals I know that would struggle in a selling role. The skill set needed to be a successful B2B salesperson is daunting. When people are asked what the requisite characteristics of a successful salesperson are, one of the most common responses is having “nice way” with people. That may be true of a greeter as Caesar’s Palace but sellers have to be much more that that.
As you might expect, some characteristics of successful sellers include:
- strong verbal skills
- extensive industry knowledge
- willingness to risk compensation on performance, etc.
Once acquired, most skills remain assets for salespeople but I feel there is one notable exception: Curiosity.
In my mind superior sellers go into initial meetings or conversations with a strong desire to find out as much as they can about the buyer:
- His/her desired business outcomes
- A mutual understanding of why they can’t be achieve today
- A good idea that the potential benefit will outweigh the cost
Sadly, over the years sellers can get to the point where they feel they’ve “seen it all.” This attitude usually causes fewer questions to be asked. Shortcuts are taken in need development as many assumptions are being made. To a buyer, this attitude may be perceived as a lack of interest.
Without realizing it, buyers may conclude the seller is merely going through the motions. In fact, an early sign of waning curiosity is sellers deciding pre-call planning and preparation aren’t necessary.
Most likely, an experienced seller has been guilty of not putting his or her best foot forward in some calls for whatever reason. My suggestion is to try to be sure to focus on being curious about each buyer.