Sales Success: Solution Selling Skills vs. Attitudes

by Nov 28, 2015Solution Selling0 comments

Selling Skills vs. Attitudes – What Matters Most?
Many sales leaders debate which has a greater impact on success as a salesperson – solution selling skills or attitudes?

It used to be that we scoured resumes for proof of sales skills and experience and just crossed our fingers that new sales reps would have what it takes attitudinally to succeed. We are smarter now. We know that sales skills can be taught and then coached and refined. But some solution selling training experts believe that the traits and mindset needed for sales success are nearly impossible to teach – you are simply born with them.

The Lesson for Sales Managers
If this is the case, the lesson for sales managers is that, in order to build a team of high performing sales professionals, you need to hire for the core traits that lead to sales success. Bottom line, keep in mind that when you hire salespeople, you hire for the future of your business.

6 Characteristics of Winning Salespeople
Here are six characteristics of winning salespeople:

  1. Empathy
    Great salespeople are able to identify with and truly understand the feelings and thoughts of others. They listen well and can put themselves in others’ shoes. This helps them to understand their customer’s situation so they are better able to devise and design solutions that bring meaningful value.
  2. Accountability
    Great salespeople own their failures as well as their successes. They take responsibility for their actions and try to learn from them. They are accountable to themselves for their time and use it well. Additionally, they are straightforward and honest with their team members and with their customers. Their sense of responsibility builds trust among their colleagues and with their customers. They do what they say they will do and that is the basis for all sound, strong relationships.
  3. Optimism
    Great salespeople are confident and optimistic about the future. They believe in themselves and in their ability to grow and learn. Rather than adopt a negative view of life, they are upbeat and hopeful. In this way they are like a magnet – people like to associate with people who have a positive attitude.
  4. Resilience
    Great salespeople know to expect rejection. They realize it is impossible to make a sale with every interaction. On the contrary, they will lose far more often than they will win. But sales is a game of focus and perseverance. You need to know how to be proactive, move forward, and try again.
  5. Passion
    Great salespeople are able to communicate their passion for their product or service. They project their genuine enthusiasm for what they can do for you and it is infectious. A sincere belief that you can provide something of true value for your customer is what allows you to perform at your peak.
  6. Ability to Self-Assess and Grow
    Great salespeople are honest not only with their customers but also with themselves. They reflect on how a sales call went in order to do better next time. They seek input from colleagues because their focus is on winning, not on preserving face. They are ambitious and want to grow in their career.

The Bottom Line
In the debate of selling skills vs. attitudes, the truth is that you need both.  If you can find salespeople with the right stuff in terms of their attitude and then create a high performance sales culture to support and reinforce these 6 key traits, your sales team performance will improve.

To learn more about selling skills vs. attitudes, download The 6 Top Reasons Business Sales Training Initiatives Fail 


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