To be successful, a salesperson must possess several qualities of head and heart. However, it is difficult to give a universal or exhaustive list of such qualities or traits because different situations require different qualities.
A person may make a good salesperson in one line of business and may fail in another line.
The qualities of a salesperson can be studied under the following heads:-
1. Physical Attributes 2. Mental Attributes 3. Social Attributes 4. Vocational Attributes 5. General Qualities.
Qualities of a Salesperson: Physical, Mental, Social, Vocational and General Qualities
Qualities of a Salesperson – 8 Qualities that Make a Salesman more Effective
There are some qualities which make a salesman more effective.
The essential qualities are explained below:
1. Impressive personality – A salesman should have a good appearance. He should have good build and be well dressed. As soon as a salesman comes into contact with a potential customers, the latter will be impressed by the salesman’s pleasing personality.
2. Sound health – A salesman has to work hard. He is to travel a lot. He should possess sound health.
3. Knowledge of the product and the company – A salesman should have full knowledge of the product and the company he is representing. He should be able to explain each and every aspect of the product i.e. its qualities, how to use it, what precautions to be taken, etc. He should be able to explain the business and service record of the company. He should also have knowledge of products of rival companies. So that he can put across the superiority of his own products.
4. Mental qualities – A good salesman should possess certain mental qualities like imagination, initiative, self-confidence, sharp memory, alertness etc. He should be able to understand the needs and preference of customer.
5. Integrity of character – A good salesman should possess the qualities of honesty and integrity. He is to gain the confidence of the customers. He should be able to understand their needs and guide them as how to satisfy those needs. His employer too should have faith in him. A salesman should be loyal both to the employer and to the consumer.
6. Good behaviour – A salesman should be co-operative and courteous. Good behaviour enables one to win the confidence of the customers. He should not feel irritated if the buyer puts up many questions even if the questions are irrelevant. It is also not necessary that the person he is trying to convince buys the products. A salesman has to remain courteous in every case.
7. Ability to persuade – A salesman should be good in conversation so that he can engage the person he is attending in conversation. He should be able to convince him and create the desire in his mind to possess the commodity.
8. Flexibility of approach – He should interact with customers with a flexible approach, i.e., try to persuade different types of customers with different reasons.
Qualities of a Salesperson
Sales is the oldest profession in history and a great profession, it must remain buyer focused. Buyers now have an alternative as they can buy anything they want off of the internet, and not have their time wasted by sales people.
Now to be a success in sales you need to know how to train yourself to be a great salesperson.
i. Carry out personal SWOT analysis for identifying the strength, weakness, opportunities and threats.
ii. Set S.M.A.R.T., Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Tractable goals and a supporting plan of action.
iii. Dedicate one hour of your most productive time of the day to yourself, the most important person in the world.
iv. Read newspapers, journals, company profile, books on non-traditional sales, motivation and personal leadership.
v. Surround yourself with like-minded people, and become accountable to each other on actions to be taken. Meet regularly and share learning and experiences.
vi. Apply what you learn, in the real world, as early as possible.
vii. Allow yourself to fail, and when you fail, seek out the lesson learned and grow from the experience.
Qualities of a Salesperson – 6 Important Qualities
Salesmanship itself is a challenging task on the one hand and equally interesting and remunerative on the lather hand.
Salesmen, to be effective should be possess certain qualities as follows:
1. Knowledge of the Self:
A salesman should first of all understand himself-his strengths and weaknesses so that he develops confidence. He should develop certain personal qualities which are essential for effective salesmanship.
He should possess the following physical, mental, social and character related personality features – sound health, good posture, pleasant voice, good appearance, cheerfulness, imagination, alertness, resourcefulness, initiative, observation, self-confidence, memory, sociability, enthusiasm, tact, co-operation, courtesy, patience and tolerance, effective speech, integrity, honesty, loyalty, industriousness, reliability, courage, sincerity, maturity and determination.
2. Knowledge of the Company:
Consumers always relate the products to the company. Therefore company’s reputation is a very important factor for effective salesmanship. A salesman has to present his company in a very positive way. This requires that he knows the following facts about his own company-the origin, the present status, the technology, reputation, philosophy, capital, location of the factories, the facilities available etc.
3. Knowledge of the Product:
Customers are very curious about knowing about various aspects of the product. Therefore they would like to know various details about the product and the salesman should be able to provide them information about all the product aspects and clear their doubts. A salesman should know the following authentic details about the product-the raw materials, the manufacturing process, technological details, the durability, the content, the uses, tips for using, features, disposability after use etc.
4. Knowledge of the Competition:
The effective sales of a product depend a lot on the competition. A salesman must be in a position to project the products of his company as a superior and cost effective one as compared with the products of the competition. Therefore, he should possess a thorough knowledge about the competition and its products. He should be capable of giving a comparative analysis of his company’s and the competitors’ products. He should be able to convince the customers regarding the superiority of his company’s products based on such a comparison.
5. Knowledge of Customers:
The success of a salesman depends on his ability to understand the customers and convince them. For this purpose a salesman should know customer well. He should be able to identify the following about his customers-wants and desires, expectations, buying motives, buying habits, buying behaviour, purchasing power etc.
6. Knowledge of the Selling Process:
Sale itself is a process and it involves several stages. Therefore, a salesman should be able to understand the stages and be able to go through all the stages such as prospecting, preparation, presentation and conclusion.
Qualities of Salesperson
It is difficult to describe the qualities of a good salesman because the duties and responsibilities of different types of salesmen are not the same. Nevertheless, there are some basic qualities which every salesperson should possess in order to be successful.
These qualities are given below:
1. Physical qualities – A salesman must have good health and a good personality. He should have attractive, cheerful and smart appearance. Appropriate dress, clean appearance and a good posture create a favourable impression on customers.
2. Mental qualities – A salesman should be intelligent. He should have a strong memory and keen observation skills in order to remember and understand his customers. He should also have complete knowledge of competitive products, customers and various selling techniques.
3. Social qualities – A salesman must have good manners and a courteous behaviour. He should be tactful. Strong will, self-confidence, ambition, sincerity, loyalty and honesty are important social attributes of a good salesman.
4. Vocational qualities – A salesman should have adequate educational and professional qualifications. He should possess sufficient and specialised knowledge about the product he is selling and the company he is representing.
Qualities of a Salesperson – General and Vocational Qualities
I. General Qualities:
1. Physical qualities
2. Mental qualities
3. Social qualities
4. Moral qualities
A brief description in each case is given below:
1. Physical Qualities:
It is essential for a good salesman to possess certain physical qualities so as to impress upon the customers and other. He should be well cautious about his physical appearance and to maintain it throughout his selling career. Physical attributes may include good appearance, sound health, cheerful disposition, stamina, postures, promptness; dress and cleanliness.
2. Mental Qualities:
A successful salesman must posses the mental qualities like mental alertness, far-sightedness and imagination, tactfulness, ability to observe and judge, capacity to make decisions, self-confidence, initiative, ambitious, tolerance, courtesy, sharp memory, maturity, determination, enthusiasm, sincerity and dependability. These qualities help him to be strong in his vision and promptness in selling.
3. Social Qualities:
A good salesman must feel that first of all he is a member of the society where he lives and therefore, must possess certain social qualities like honesty and trust-worthiness, good behaviour, cooperative nature, sweat speaking, tactfulness, courtesy, cheerful disposition, convincing conversation, patience and considerate, resourcefulness, loyal good character, social grace, poise, feeling of social responsibility, etc. These qualities will help him to make a society of friends and to create new relationship with the people he meets.
4. Moral Qualities:
Moral and ethical values that should be possessed by a good salesman include honesty, integrity, loyalty and high moral “Honesty is the best policy.” Therefore, he should be very honest in his practical way of life. Similarly, the salesman should be loyal to institution where he is employed; his profession and also to the customers.
Herbert N. Kessan has stated that most of the customers pay respect and praise to those salesmen who are loyal to them. Further, the salesmen must have high moral character to win over the will of people. Prof. Hawkins has written that a person of high moral character keeps him reflected in the minds of the people by his effective speech, good behaviour and by presentation of facts.
II. Specific or Vocational Qualities:
1. Product knowledge
2. Effective speaking
3. Ability to create and maintain sound customer relations.
1. Product Knowledge:
Ernest and Davall writes, “Nothing is important to the salesman than knowing his product.” It appears to be correct that a salesman cannot give justice to his customers if he does not have the knowledge of the product he deal with, inspite of possessing all the general and vocational skills.
Aptitude for selling, education and training, knowledge about the history of the firm, communication skills, good knowledge about commercial and economic laws, are also equality important to a salesman, together with the product knowledge.
Importance of Product Knowledge:
The importance of having good knowledge about the product for a salesman, is based on a number of reasons.
(i) For Better Presentation of the Product:
Without having sufficient knowledge of the product, its quality, advantage of having the product, its main features, uses, etc., a salesman cannot be able to present his product or services in a good manner before the customers. The success in sales mainly depends no its effective presentation by the salesman.
This may be the reason that Alfred Gross has written that a producer will never be so dissatisfied with the lower sales record, than any other reason except that his customers have no knowledge about the special features of the product. In order to give sufficient product knowledge to the customers, the salesman must posses adequate knowledge about the product that he deals with.
(ii) Ensure Better Demonstration:
Demonstration of the product in front of prospective buyers can effectively be made possible, only when the salesman knows very well about the product characteristics. Alfred Gross has written that there will be no other matter which is so disturbing a salesman except a wrong demonstration.
(iii) Strengthens Self-Confidence:
Unless a salesman possesses good knowledge about his product, he will not be in a better position to satisfy his customers more confidently and more convincingly. An upto date knowledge about the product, therefore, will strengthen his self-confidence.
(iv) Makes Selling a Pleasant Task:
The more he knows about the product, the more he feels pleasant in his selling task. This is because that he will be able to satisfy the customers.
(v) Ensuring Satisfactorily Meeting Objections:
The buyers are always anxious to collect detailed information about the product in respect of quality, technical nature, size, method of operation, upkeep, maintenance, price, etc. so as to enable them to take a better decision towards purchasing of a product.
The buyers often raise objections/doubts about these aspects because of their having no proper knowledge about the product. In such a situation, it is very essential for the salesman to have detailed information about the product so as to meet the objections of the buyers and to ensure more sales.
(vi) To Face Competition Successfully:
In a competitive business situation where the product are frequently modified or new and improved products are introduced in the market by competing firms, it is very difficult to sell a product unless the salesman knows detailed information about the modification or improvement made in the quality, size features, uses, etc. of the product. A good salesman stands like a soldier in the world of selling and keeps diversified knowledge about the product so as to divert the attention of buyers to his own product, than of his competitors.
(vii) To Present Accurate Information about the Product:
Once cannot present a product to the satisfaction of customers unless he possesses the factual and accurate information about the characteristics of the product. In such a situation he can only create confusion among the customers by his inaccurate presentation of facts or with unfair information.
(viii) Increase in Income:
Good knowledge about the product may ensure satisfactory meeting of the customer objections and facing the competition successfully. These things will ensure more sales leading to increase in incomes of the firm.
(ix) To Justify the Higher Price Strategy:
Better quality and standard, and improvement in product suggest for higher prices because of higher production costs. Customers will be prepared to pay increased prices when they are fully satisfied with the quality/standard/improvements in the products. For the purpose of convincing the customers about increase in prices of the products, the salesman must know more about these aspects of the product.
(x) Assist the Buyers in their Buying Decisions:
Where the salesman possesses sufficient knowledge about the quality, price, standard and uses of the product, he will be in a better position to guide the buyers in having such a product, thus helping them in their buying decisions. The salesman will be able to compare his product better in quality, users and durability, than that of the competitors.
(xi) Vistas for Advancement in Career:
Sufficient knowledge about the product ensures more sales and brings larger profits to the firm. The product and producer image are increased by way of brand loyalty among the customers. Ultimately this will open new vistas for the salesman towards advancement in his career.
It is important for the salesman to learn certain basic knowledge about the product, such as:
(i) Innovation and development of the product.
(ii) The attributes of the product, its colour, form, design, etc.
(iii) Ingredients/compositions of the product-knowledge about the proportion of raw material used, etc.
(iv) Manufacturing process and the technology sued.
(v) Uses and advantages of the product.
(vi) Durability of the product, services and warranty offered by the producer.
(vii) Precautions in using/handling the product.
(viii) Terms and conditions of sales; such as terms of payment/credit, delivery schedule, home delivery, return of unsold product, etc.
(ix) Knowledge about competing products in the market (compete knowledge about the nature, quality, drawback, price, composition of raw material used, etc. in order to compare the product)
Sources of Acquiring Product Knowledge:
A number of sources are available to a salesman to acquire knowledge about the products.
A few of such sources are given below:
(i) Personal Experience:
Personal experience of using the product by himself is an important source of gaining knowledge about a product. On the basis of personal experience, the salesman will be able to know the specific quality and standard of the product. He will be able to justify the customers on the basis of such experience.
(ii) From the Users/Customers:
The regular users of customers of the particular product can give the knowledge of the product, from their experience in using it. The salesman can seek their opinion about the product from time to time.
(iii) Consulting with Seniors and Fellow Salesmen:
This is another important source to acquire additional knowledge about the product. Usually, newly appointed salesman use this source by consulting with the sales managers, sales supervisors and fellow salesmen who have wide knowledge about the product.
Advertisement copies are usually got prepared by experts in the field. As such, the copies of advertisements can be an important source for the salesman to have product knowledge, by studying these copies very carefully. In advertisements, all the characteristics about the product are described very clearly and effectively to attract the buyers. Copies of advertisements are made available to salesman so as to help them at the time of interviews with customers, who have been attracted by the advertisements.
(v) Sales Literature:
Sales literatures like sales manuals, sales bulletins, salesman’s portfolios, motion pictures and visual aids, questionnaires, etc. are distributed to the salesmen so as to help them in their selling activities and to provide for more information about the product and services offered by the seller.
(vi) Trade Fairs, Seminars, Conferences, etc.:
Trade fairs, seminars and conferences, etc. are organized by the producers from time to time for dealers, middlemen international buyers and the salespersons to make them aware about the change in policies, introducing new product in the market, improvement or modification in the existing product, etc. They will provide better opportunity for the salesmen to improve the knowledge about the product.
(vii) Trade Journals:
Trade journals are regularly published by trade and industry, and also by the big business houses, containing detailed information about various products, use of technology and collaborative agreements, marketing opportunity for specific products in different regions of the country and overseas, justification for increase in the price of products, etc. which will be useful source for the salesmen to up-to-date their knowledge about products and services.
(viii) By Closely Observing the Production Process:
The salesmen can acquire detailed knowledge about the product including the composition of the raw material used, by closely observing the production process in factories or at the place of production.
(ix) Consulting with Technical Specialists:
Technical specialists appointed by the organization to advise the management on technical matters relating to production, marketing etc. can be a reliable source of information to salesmen to know about the technical aspect of the product.
(x) Training to Salesmen:
Training programme to train the salesmen is organized by the employer from time to time. This will be a good opportunity for the salesmen to up-to-date their knowledge about the new product and various information relating to sales.
2. Effective Speaking:
Selling involves communication of skill. A person, who does not possess the communication ability and skill, cannot become a good salesman. A salesman expresses his knowledge, ideas and views through speaking. His sales strategy is effectively executed by discussion and sales presentation. Therefore, it is essential that he should be a good communicator/speaker.
In order to be effective in speaking the following facts are to be kept in mind:
(i) Selection of proper vocabulary.
(ii) The speaking words should create sweetness.
(iii) Clear speaking by giving little.
(iv) Stop a moment, between words spoken
(v) Usual fluency in speaking.
(vi) Voice should not be loud when speaking face to face.
(vii) Use good words and phrases.
(viii) Keep seriousness while speaking.
(ix) Avoid the use of words which have dual meaning.
(x) Doubtful matters/sentence spoken should be repeated.
(xi) Attention be given to use correct language.
(xii) Pronunciation of words should be accurate.
(xiii) Speak in language in which one has good command.
Guidelines for Effective Speaking:
G. S. Sudha has given certain guidelines for effective speaking in his book on Sales Promotion and Sales Management (Hindi Edition).
According to him, these guidelines are:
(i) “You” point view – Every customer is interested in “self.” As such, the salesman should adopt this view while dealing with a customer. In other words, he should always pay attention to the interest and needs of customers.
(ii) Control – The subject matter of discussion and direction requires control by the salesman. Excessive discussion may cause hesitation from customers.
(iii) Repetition of words spoken should be avoided – Salesman should not repeat the spoken words again while discussing any material fact with customers. Such a repetition may only diffuse the purpose of speaking. Words are the tools of the salesman and therefore, one should have a reservoir of words and languages to speak clearly and effectively.
(iv) Rate of delivery of words – The rate of delivery of words or phrases to be used while speaking shall be balancing and be in place with the understanding and thinking capacity of a customer.
(v) Bodily presentation – The salesman should use bodily language (expression or acting with hands, facts, eyes, etc.) together with words spoken to make the customers understood his ideas and views.
(vi) Should speak; not to orate, or to make speeches – The salesman, while delivering his sale talks, should speak to the customers in a limited way; but do not convert the speaking into speeches or not to convert him as an orator. The customers usually hesitate or irritate with such salesman. He should try to communicate his ideas clearly in limited words.
(vii) Seriousness – During talks with customers, the salesman should adopt seriousness throughout his talks. He should try to avoid over emphasizing of any material facts. Every facts stated by him should be practical, accurate and trustable so that the customers may take his explanations as warranted.
(viii) Clear and polite speaking – The salesman should present the material facts with utmost sincerity and the object of talk should not be create a bad impression in the mind of customers. He should be polite in behaviour while talking with customers.
(ix) Two-way communication – Salesmen should ensure and encourage for two-ways communication while dealing with customers. Sufficient opportunity and freedom may be given to customers to ask questions, express objections and to present their ideas and suggestions. A sales talk will be useful only when it encourages for two-way communication.
(x) Creative silence – Continuous speaking, without little break, is not at all advisable. The salesman may adopt creative silence during the course of taking with the customers. This will help the customers to judge and make a decision to buy or not. Creative silence, sometime, may change the course of discussion and makes the talks more purposeful.
3. Ability to Create and Maintain Good Customer Relations:
The main object of selling should be to create good customer relations and to maintain such relations for ever. Relationship management is a key skill of personal selling. A well-known American Managing Director once said, “Never forget a customer and never let a customer forget you.” According to a management thought “business exists only for creating customers, more customers and many, many customers.”
Kirkpatric writes, sound customer relationship is established when the customer accepts the salesman as his merchandise advisor. A Japanese businessman has said once, “our aim is more above the customer satisfaction; our aim is to entertain the customer and establish a long-term relationship with him.”
The importance and advantages of customer relationship can be stated under the following points:
(i) Repeat sales – A satisfied customer never changes his buying place and such a permanent customer repeats purchases, thereby bringing an increase in sales and income.
(ii) Source of information – A satisfied customer always remain as a source of information to the seller, as he provides to the seller with his valued suggestions to the business problems from his experience while continuously using the product. He may assist in giving a new name to the product, and improvement or modification, etc. to be made in the existing product.
(iii) Publicity – According to Cainfield, a satisfied customer is the best source of publicity of the product and the producer. He gives “monthly publicity.”
(iv) No attention to competitors brands – A satisfied customer never pays attention to the advertisement and publicity of the competitors brands as he has already created a brand loyalty of the present seller’s product.
Measures to Create Sound Customer Relations:
Good salesman may adopt various other measures, in addition to general qualities, to build up and maintain sound customer relations.
G. S. Sudha has given certain such measures, as stated below:
(i) Scheduling Calls on Established Customers:
The salesman can schedule their customers contact programme in such a manner so as to call on established customers regularly. Customers, sometimes face certain problems about the use, and maintenance of the product. Such problems can be attended promptly and besides, their suggestions may be collected and passed on to the producer for consideration by the producer. This way, the scheduling of the visits regularly will help in maintaining good relations with customers.
(ii) To Prevent Inactive Account:
Inactiveness of the customer is an evidence of break-down of relationship. This happens due to various reasons such as- doubts in the mind of customers about the quality, price, etc. of the product as well as due to the mistakes of the seller for meeting the time schedule of delivery, in accurate billing, wrong delivery of goods, non-attention to the complaints of customers, etc. Such a possible break-down in customer relationship can be prevented by regular and effective both-way communication.
(iii) By Securing Customer Support:
Business-customer relationship is like a two-way traffic. In this process, customers are helpful to the salesman and to the company in many ways. The customers can certify their satisfaction of using the product and the producer image at the same time. The salesman should take necessary steps in creating lasting relationship in order to secure customer support always.
(iv) By Influencing Customer Behaviour:
The salesman acts as problem solver and advisor for customers, by his good behaviour and decent manners. He gives proper advice to the customer in their buying decisions by influencing their buying preference and pattern. His views, ideas and communication skills bring improvement to customer relations.
(v) By Dealing Timely with Customer Complaints:
By taking steps and attending the customer problem in time, good relationship can be created and maintained with them. This requires the salesman to have full knowledge about the product and the services offered by the seller. He should ensure that his own ideas and views are matching with that of the customers.
(vi) Improvements in Selling Efforts:
In many occasions, the customers are compelled to cancel the supply orders placed with the firm or the goods sent to them are returned to the seller by refusing to accept the goods. There can be a number of reasons for these, such as variations in the quantity and quality of goods supplied, variations in prices, breakage, improper delivery schedule, breach of conditions, etc.
The salesman should take care of such irregularities on the part of the seller and ensure that such things shall not be repeated in future. The affected customers may suitably by compensate. Such things will give him a lesson to improve his selling efforts in the future.
(vii) Exchange of Views with Customers:
Off and on, informal meetings with regular customers may be arranged in order to develop an informal relationship with them. Such meetings will also help in knowing their problems with the product and their future buying plans.
(viii) By Providing Various Services to Customers:
Producers of automobiles, industrial and domestic durable products provide various services to the buyers in respect of –
(a) Free services to technical and electronic goods
(b) Providing with useful knowledge about handling and maintenance of goods.
(c) Assist in plant location and packaging of goods,
(d) Provide home delivery facility on free of charge, and
(e) Extend short-term credit for purchasing goods.
Extension of such free services also helps to create and maintain good relationship with customers.
Qualities of a Salesperson – 5 Main Qualities
(i) Good personality – Good personality is a mixture of many traits like physical appearance, dressing up, way of talking, manners, pitch of voice, habits etc. Personality of a salesperson should be such that the moment he/she comes in contact with the customer, he becomes familiar with the customer.
(ii) Mental qualities – A salesperson must have the quality of alertness, imagination, foresightedness, empathy etc. He should have the ability to read the customer’s mind and behave accordingly.
(iii) Good behaviour – A sales person should be a well behaved person having ability to interact with people comfortably. He/she should be co-operative so that he/she can help people in making up their minds by patiently answering all their questions.
(iv) Knowledge – Salesperson should complete knowledge about the product because if any queries about the product and if do not satisfied with the reply, none take the product.
(v) Ability to communicate – If a salesperson can communicate properly and effectively then he/she will be able to clear the biggest hurdle of making the prospective customer listen to him/her. The salesperson must speak confidently, clearly and audibly. Good communication ability coupled with good knowledge about the product helps the salesperson in persuading the customer to buy.
Qualities of a Salesperson – 8 Important Qualities to Achieve Effective Personal Selling
Qualities of a Good Salesman in Rural Market or Essentials of Effective Personal Selling:
An effective salesman must possess certain physical, mental, social and vocational qualities. Without these qualities, the salesman cannot persuade the potential customer to buy the product. Now a day, personal selling process has become professionalized, so professional skills like knowledge about product, market conditions; command over language etc. can be gained through education. A business enterprise can develop effective salesman to promote its sales.
In order to achieve effective personal selling, the following qualities of salesmen are required:
1. Physical Qualities or Personality – A salesman should have good personality. Physical qualities refer to physical appearance, health, dress, stamina etc. It also includes good posture, sweet voice, pleasing appearance etc. Personality or physical qualities attract the prospective customers by making favourable first impression.
2. Communication Ability and Knowledge of Local Language – Communication on skill is an assets for the salesman. He should be able to speak freely, clearly and in a well-pitched voice. For rural market, it is better if he has knowledge of local language along with Hindi. He should avoid using debatable language. He must be a person who has a natural ability for conversion.
A good salesman must have the power of imagination so that he can enter into the shoe of the prospective customer to know what he wants and how he wants to be treated. These mental qualities will help a salesman in winning permanent and regular customers.
4. Sociability – A salesman should be social and have the ability to mix with people. Salesman is required to move in different areas to meet different persons. So, he must have social qualities like he should be polite, cooperative, courteous, extrovert etc. He should have the quality of adjusting with customers of different nature.
5. Vocational and Moral Qualities – A salesman should have sound general education and have the specialized knowledge of selling techniques. He should have ambitions and enthusiasm to become a good salesman. Salesman should possess moral qualities like honesty, loyalty, fair dealing etc. If a salesman has made a sale by stating wrong facts, by cheating customers then in the long run, he creates bad image for himself and also for his organization.
6. Product Knowledge – A good salesman must have knowledge about the company’s product. It helps the salesman to explain various aspects of the product. This knowledge helps in better presentation and demonstration of the product, in clearing the doubts and queries of prospective customers satisfactorily.
7. Customer’s Knowledge – The salesman should have full knowledge about the customers. He should have knowledge about customer’s taste, buying behaviour, income level, buying motives etc. This will help the salesmen in convincing the prospective buyers to buy company’s product.
8. Determination and Quality of Developing Relations with Customers – The sales person must have a sense of determination to secure the customer. He should not lose confidence and give up the customer so easily Salesman should have the ability or quality of developing good and longtime relations with customers. Developing good relation creates satisfied customers which will help the organization in getting repeat orders.
Qualities of a Salesperson – Physical, Mental, Social and Vocational Attributes
To be successful, a salesperson must possess several qualities of head and heart. However, it is difficult to give a universal or exhaustive list of such qualities or traits because different situations require different qualities. A person may make a good salesperson in one line of business and may fail in another line.
Nevertheless, the qualities which are commonly found among effective salesmen are described under the following heads:
Quality # 1. Physical Attributes:
A successful salesman must have sound health and pleasing personality. His job is arduous and his physique should be sturdy, free from disease and disability of all types. He should have capacity for hard work, a good stamina and sufficient tolerance. Good personality consists of several attributes such as neat appearance, refined tastes, good habits, clear voice, etc.
A pleasing and charming personality boosts self-confidence and morale. Only a well-groomed and cheerful salesman can create good impression on the customers. The Chinese proverb— “one who runs a store must have a smiling face” indicates the significance of personality for a successful salesman.
Quality # 2. Mental Attributes:
A good salesman must have a high degree of intelligence, initiative and foresight. He needs to be intelligent and imaginative enough to understand the customer quickly and to read his mind accurately. Balanced judgement, self-confidence, poise, tact and patience are needed to handle the customer according to the requirements of the situation.
An effective salesman also needs to have presence of mind and good common sense. He requires initiative to make additional sale and to win permanent customers. Sharp memory is necessary to recognise the customer and to recollect his needs and wants.
Quality # 3. Social Attributes:
A salesman has to deal with different types of customers and should, therefore, have the ability to get along with people of all types. Sociability implies a cheerful attitude, a liking for people, sense of humour and conversational ability. A good salesman needs to be polite, self-disciplined and courteous. He should not be shy or reserved but an extrovert and a good listener. He needs to be man of sound character, honest, loyal and dependable. He should be cooperative and helpful enough to assist customers in the selection of goods. A good salesman must be sincere in his work and true to his words.
Quality # 4. Vocational Attributes:
Salesmanship is a highly skilled vocation and requires ambition, aptitude and enthusiasm. A good salesman needs to have creative ability, leadership qualities, urge for excellence, optimism, and a specific bent of mind. Success in salesmanship requires sound education, wide knowledge and specialised training. A good salesman should be fully familiar with his product, his firm, his customers and selling techniques.
Qualities of a Salesperson
Any organization wishes to recruit the sales people with certain traits that are relevant and will prove to be drivers in the profitability of the organization. However there are certain basic qualities among sales people that are looked for in and every organization.
Every sales person need to be aware of the attributes related to the goods or services being sold.
He must be having suitable and complete product knowledge so that he is well equipped to handle any sort of customer query or complaint. Sales person must be aware of the packing materials being used and pack sizes in which the product is sold. It is required that the sales executives are aware of the size of the consignment and the logistics being used to transport the products from one place to the other.
The selling terms and conditions should be well known to the sales executives. The company policies on refunds, rejections and defective goods should be properly understood by the sales executives. Sales people should also have proper knowledge of the company policies on sales compensation, incentives, trade promotions and business promotions along with the competition.
Knowledge about social etiquettes along with suitable knowledge of the local language in the area of operation are some of the other important ingredients as far as qualities of sale people are concerned.
There are five qualities among sales people that contribute to their effectiveness irrespective of the company they work for:
(i) Ability to define the exact function of a position and duties in relation to the goals to be attained by the company
(ii) Ability to select and train capable subordinates and willingness to delegate sufficient authority
(iii) Ability to utilize time effectively
(iv) Ability to allocate time for thinking and planning
(v) Ability to execute skilled leadership
There are certain qualities that can be developed among sales people. Some of the personality traits among sales people that are essential ingredients for effective selling are physical traits, mental traits, social traits and character traits.
If suitable qualities are not developed among sales people, it can lead to erroneous selling on the part of the sales team of a company. There can be an error in identifying the prospective customers.
Also if proper listening skills are not developed among sales people they will fail to understand customers actually require. Ineffective sales people have been found to lack suitable product knowledge, make poor sales presentations and they also fail to prioritize the activities they are required to do.
Sales people need to be trained suitably on how to apply six sigma to the selling process since this will facilitate them in removing unqualified prospects, boost excellent listening skills among sales people, foster optimal product knowledge in them and allow them to plan well and make effective sales presentations.
Concern for sale and concern for customers are the two important parameters based on
which the orientation of the salesperson is observed. High concern for sale and low concern for customer gives rise to Order orientation of selling. High concern for sale and high concern for customer gives rise to value orientation.
Low concern for sale and low concern for customer gives rise to price orientation of selling while high concern for customer and low concern for sale is what relationship orientation is all about.