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5 entrepreneurial qualities great sales reps share

Tips & Advice - March 9, 2015

Remember the morally anemic people described in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman? The absolute essence of their being was sales, and selling at any cost. That image of salespeople has, unfortunately, stuck.

The fault does not lie entirely on American fiction novelists and playwrights. Salespeople have not always been the most wholesome bunch — consider the stereotypical car salesman, also known as the human mosquito. Luckily, this trend is changing. Sales representatives have been working to alter sales culture for some time, emphasizing entrepreneurial qualities like a sense of purpose and human connection.

Sales representatives may not own the company, but that doesn't mean they cannot learn from entrepreneurs. Here are five qualities successful salespeople can incorporate into their work:

Do-or-die attitude: Entrepreneurs will do whatever it takes to get their job done. In sales this translates to extra determination, drive and commitment — not necessarily to closing the sale, although that is definitely important, but to the customer. It is your job to be the answer to your client's problems, to offer them valuable solutions to issues they have been dealing with. You must be confident that the product or service you are offering is helpful and prove that to the consumer. Do-or-die attitudes never fail: in the face of defeat you stand up, dust yourself off and press on.

Scientific approach: Innovation and creativity are paramount to successful entrepreneurship. Sales representatives who take the scientific approach love to experiment with new selling techniques and are always itching to learn. They use modern technology, such as field service software, to collect data, analyze information and extrapolate hypotheses and predictions from what they discover. They are constantly trying new things and reinventing their tactics to find the best fit. There is no formula for sales, which means that playing around with different methods, particularly when dealing with a variety of clients, is the best way to achieve success. 

Good listeners: The stereotypical salesperson goes on and on about their product without letting customer's get a word in edgewise. Questions remain unanswered and sales unclosed. Today's entrepreneurial sales representative understands the importance of listening attentively. You can't just sell your product to everyone on the planet — sales that close are sales that bring value to the consumer. Listening actively allows you to assess prospects and their needs, so that you can tailor your pitch to them. The simple act of listening can help foster long-term sales relationships that will continue to flourish beyond the first closed sales.

Risk takers: Nothing comes from sitting nice and cozy in your comfort zone and waiting for things to happen. Competition is growing daily, and with thousands of new products on the market you must be able to stand out. Getting to the top means thinking differently, challenging yourself and taking risks. You might not be able to anticipate the outcome and you might fail, but progress means moving forward and constantly changing. There can be no success if you remain static.

Resourceful: True sales representatives are able to shift gears on a dime if a sale isn't going the way they expected. Instead of accepting that a sale is dead, they use different, creative approaches. It is important to learn to read people and take behavioral queues so that you can make snappy decisions. Resourcefulness also means being able to use the tools available to you. If you work in the field you should know how to best use field service management software to provide client's with the best information when they need it. 

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