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Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
It's Only Common Sense
By Dan Beaulieu
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It's Only Common Sense: Dare To Be Great
I have spent the past few weeks taking calls from salespeople who are more than a little discouraged. They’re wondering what’s going on, why they aren’t getting appointments and making sales. We all know it is hard right now. Everyone seems to be looking for answers about why they can’t make their numbers.
Some blame China, while others blame Washington, D.C., or even their customers. You know what? Blame is a game for losers. It is a complete waste of time. Worse than that, it saps your energy and kills your confidence. If you find yourself stuck in a rut of looking for someone or something to blame, you’re just spinning your wheels. As my dear mother used to say, “Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair, rocking, and wondering why you are not getting anywhere.”
The best thing any of us can do is to do something. Do anything to move that proverbial ball forward, no matter how steep the hill is.
So, let’s go positive for a few minutes. Let’s just take a deep breath and think about what it is that makes a great salesperson.
Remember, sales is a dynamic and challenging profession that demands a unique set of skills and qualities. To be successful in sales you must have confidence and passion. You must believe with all your heart that you are the best at what you do and be fully aware that your success is always, and I mean always, up to the person in the mirror.
To be a successful salesperson, you need the following attributes and qualities:
- Resilience and persistence. Ours is a profession filled with rejection. You have to learn to roll with “no” and handle the setbacks. Great salespeople view rejection as an opportunity to learn and improve rather than a failure. Great salespeople are not discouraged by rejection but use it as motivation to keep moving forward. Great salespeople never fail because they never stop trying.
- Exceptional problem-solving skills. Sales often involves overcoming obstacles and solving complex problems. Great salespeople are adept problem solvers who can think on their feet. They find creative solutions to customer challengers and are resourceful in finding creative ways to meet their customers’ needs. They can adapt to changing circumstances and turn objections into opportunities.
- Strong emotional intelligence. This is a critical attribute for successful salespeople. It enables them to connect with clients on a deeper level, understand their emotions, and build trust. Great salespeople are empathetic and can navigate challenging conversations with tact and sensitivity. They can also manage their emotions effectively, especially in high pressure situations. Great salespeople exemplify the statement, “Grace under pressure.”
- Goal-oriented mindset. The world’s greatest salespeople have a goal-oriented mindset. They set clear, ambitious goals for themselves and their sales targets. These goals serve as motivation and direction, driving them to perform at their best. They break down their goals into manageable steps and track their progress regularly. This goal-oriented approach keeps them focused and accountable for their results.
- Great communication. Great salespeople are great communicators. The possess the ability to listen actively and empathetically to their customers, understanding their needs and concerns. Effective communication is a two-way street, and top salespeople know how to ask problem-solving questions, offer solutions, and build rapport and trust with their customers. They are articulate, persuasive, and able to convey complex information in a simple and compelling manner.
- They don’t complain. Great salespeople play the cards they are dealt, as they are dealt. They understand and appreciate the parameters of the situation they are in. They take a good and clear look at where they are and then decide on what they need to do to alleviate whatever situational challenges they are facing. They remain cool, calm, and collected at all times. They never panic or wig out. They just deal with it as it comes, no matter how bad it may seem.
- Extremely customer centric. World-class salespeople put their customers’ needs above everything else. They take the time to understand their customers’ pain points, goals, and preferences. By putting the customer first, they build trust and establish long-lasting relationships. They are genuinely interested in helping their clients succeed and are not solely focused on making a sale. This customer-centric approach creates a loyal customer base and leads to repeat business and referrals.
Daring to be great in the world of sales requires a combination and attributes and habits that set top performers apart from the rest of the pack. Exceptional communication skills, resilience, customer-centricity, problem solving, and emotional intelligence are all qualities that make up a great salesperson. But the most important attribute is authentic honesty. If you are basically a good and honest person, no matter what the circumstances are, you will be a well-regarded and trusted salesperson. In the end, that is what makes a truly great salesperson become truly legendary.
It’s only common sense.
Dan Beaulieu is president of D.B. Management Group.
More Columns from It's Only Common SenseIt’s Only Common Sense: Learning Good Customer Service From TV
It’s Only Common Sense: It’s the Little Things That Matter
It’s Only Common Sense: The Benefits of Failure
It’s Only Common Sense: Involve Employees in Creating a Great Company Culture
It’s Only Common Sense: What Are You Afraid Of?
It’s Only Common Sense: Great Customer Service Stories
It’s Only Common Sense: The Other Attributes of a Truly Creative, Innovative, and Successful Salesperson
It’s Only Common Sense: The Modern Way to Sell