There are many attributes that sales representatives should have, such as closing skills, negotiation skills, vision, optimism, a competitive spirit and that list goes on and on. Although all of these attributes or skills are important, I believe that successful sales people should all possess “The Trifecta of Sales Skills”, which are Caring, Authenticity and Vulnerability.
Caring- a sales rep should perform his or her duties at a high level–not because someone is telling them to, but instead because they feel an ownership obligation to. When sales people feel like they are part owners of the organization they will go above and beyond to perform their duties.
In my sales career I have never found customers to be impressed with my knowledge level for my product or the competition. The old adage says, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” Do you genuinely care about your customers, your manager or your sales team? And the more important question is, “Do they know it?”
Authenticity- being authentic means staying true to whom you are. This may sound simple but in reality it can be rather difficult, especially for sales reps that believe that they are the center of the sales universe. Throughout my sales career I have studied sales reps form a distance. I have seen sales reps walk into a place of business and start talking about their Hawaiian vacation and about how successful they are. No sales rep is successful all the time. Even the most seasoned sales reps have had times of struggle. Be authentic! Be willing to share your struggles with your customers. Let them know that you are a real person and not some sales-driven robot.
Always remember that your customers can spot a phony a mile away. Your customers do not like phony communication. You may think that you are pulling one over on your customer by being phony and they may even be patient and nice to you in that moment, but they will not appreciate it and it will cost you in the long run. Be yourself, be charming, be caring, be gracious, be humble, be your authentic self.
Vulnerability- one trait that most successful sales people have is the ability to show vulnerability. Don’t try to conceal your problems–meet them head-on and do everything possible to fix them. Things will go wrong from time to time, it’s ok to embrace it. Your customers will have a greater appreciation for you as you share with them times that things went wrong and how you fixed it. Vulnerability is a sure fire way to build strong lasting relationships with your customers. Remember you are not a sales robot.