21 Core Competencies

Of Successful Sales People

1. Has Written Goals

  • Clear.
  • Specific.
  • Realistic/attainable.
  • Measurable.
  • Compelling.
  • Is committed to them.
  • Has internalized them.

2. Follows Written Goals Plan

  • Knows what must be done and why.
  • Has developed action plans.
  • Follows action plan.
  • Has determined possible obstacles.
  • Has a plan to deal with the obstacles.
  • Has check points.
  • Debriefs daily.
photo of a corporate board room

3. Has Positive Attitude

  • About self.
  • About company.
  • About marketplace.
  • About learning.
  • About growing.
  • About value of what they have to offer.
  • About value of what company has to offer.

4. Takes Responsibility

  • Doesn't externalize (doesn't blame others, company, prospect, their past, etc.).
  • Knows it's up to them.
  • Knows the only things they can control are their activity and behavior.
  • It's OK to fail.
  • Doesn't play psychological games like: if it weren't for you, ain't it awful, yes but, kick me etc...
  • Does the behavior they need to do at the appropriate times.
  • Learns from inappropriate behavior.
  • Accepts challenges.
  • Doesn't rationalize
picture of a confident businesswoman

5. Strong Self Confidence

  • High self image.
  • Is not affected by what others think.
  • Understands that getting a "no" is a good thing.
  • Doesn't take a "no" as failure.
  • Learns from each behavior they perform.
  • Realizes that there is a lot to learn and it's ok not to be perfect.
  • Understands that "role" failure is a way to grow and does not affect how they should feel about themselves.

6. Supportive Beliefs

  • OK to hear "no".
  • OK to "fail."
  • OK not to get approval.
  • OK if I upset someone.
  • Calls at the right levels.
  • Knows she/he has "rights".
  • Has a self-image of 10 (on a scale of 1-10).

7. Controls Emotions

  • Is not lost for words.
  • Doesn't take things personally.
  • Knows what to say or do at the appropriate time.
  • Is a "third party" at the event.
  • Is prepared for whatever the prospect does.
  • Doesn't panic.
  • Doesn't become excitable.
  • Doesn't strategize "on the fly."
  • Stays in the moment.
  • Doesn't over-analyze.

8. Doesn't Need Approval

  • Will ask the tough questions.
  • Will go for "no."
  • Will bring things to closure.
  • Won't accept "wishy washy" statements.
  • Will confront.
  • Gets good "up-front contracts."
  • Gets "personal needs" met outside sales.
  • Deals with stalls and put-offs.

9. Recovers From Rejection

  • Doesn't affect their self-image.
  • OK with "no."
  • Understands that they aren't being rejected personally.
  • Willing to put themselves in "high risk" scenarios.
  • Puts last episode quickly behind them.
  • Probes for alternatives.
  • Offers options.

10. Comfortable Talking About Money

  • Able to bring it up in interview.
  • Brings it up at the proper time.
  • Knows what prospect will invest before they present solution.
  • Knows and believes how important margins and profitability are for an account.

11. Supportive Buy Cycle

  • Makes quick decisions about personal purchases when they find what they want.
  • Establishes goals for what they want.
  • Doesn't care much about price when they buy.
  • For a major purchase (other than a car) they usually shop only one store.
  • A major purchase is usually over $1,000.
  • Usually doesn't do research for a major purchase.
  • A major purchase usually takes less than a day.

12. Consistent, Effective Prospecting

  • Knows how many calls they have to make daily.
  • Makes the agreed upon calls.
  • Is on track with number of calls.
  • Debriefs calls daily.
  • Learns "lessons" from each call.
  • Is proactive at getting referrals (has a plan).

13. Reaches Decision Maker

  • Goes for the top.
  • Gets past gatekeeper.
  • Able to talk the decision maker's language.
  • Is comfortable talking to tough decision-makers.
  • Is not intimidated by them.
  • Gets their attention.
  • Get appointments.

14. Effective Listening / Questioning

  • Helps prospect do the talking.
  • Knows what questions to ask.
  • Asks lots of "How" and "Why" questions.
  • Knows why they are asking them.
  • Knows the "pains" your company can solve.
  • Doesn't get emotionally involved.

15. Early Bonding & Rapport

  • Helps prospect to relax.
  • Gains comfort level.
  • They are relaxed themselves.
  • Knows when they don't have rapport.
  • Shares with prospects when they sense that they might be uncomfortable.
  • Deals with problems up-front.
  • Establishes good "up-front contracts."
  • Displays sincerity, believability, warmth and trust.

16. Uncovering Actual Budgets

  • Is able to establish what prospect has in the budget.
  • Helps prospect discover what they are willing to invest.
  • Is able to help prospect quantify their "pains".
  • Helps prospect find the money if they don't have it.
  • Helps prospect gain conviction that they must spend it or close the file.
  • Is creative in helping prospect overcome their concerns about investing what it will take.
  • Is firm when it comes to money.
  • Sells vs. Negotiating.
Picture of executives meeting with clients

17. Discovering Why Prospects Buy

  • Has taken the company's capabilities and translated this information to questions that will elicit pain.
  • They understand their prospects' business and the related pains.
  • Has internalized the "pain finding" questions.
  • Has internalized the "pain funnel" questions.
  • Helps prospect discover their own "pain."
  • Is not afraid to ask the tough questions.
  • Doesn't solve problems before their time.
  • Helps prospect to "own" their pain.
  • Gets 3rd or 4th degree pain.
  • Makes sure there are compelling reasons to buy.
  • Gets prospect to quantify the pain.
  • Will attempt to "close the file" if there is no pain.
  • Gets to the business results and personal wins of the prospect.
  • Doesn't do "dog and pony shows."

18. Qualifies Proposals & Quotes

  • Knows when to bail out.
  • Gets to all the key players.
  • Knows decision criteria.
  • Helps influence decision criteria.
  • Knows where he/she stands all the way.
  • Understands what it costs to play in the game.
  • Asks the "right questions" before they complete the quote.
  • Is willing to walk away.
  • Knows decision making process.
  • Knows for sure how well bases are covered with each buying influence.
  • Knows the time line for decision.
  • Knows the probability of sale.
  • Knows the probability of your company getting the deal.
  • Knows how they stand against the competition.
  • Has inside "white knights" (coaches, champions) in all their accounts.
  • Always knows what will happen next.
  • Good "up-front" contracts.
  • Deals with potential concerns, apprehensions and potential risks prospect may have.
  • Has qualified for money.
  • Doesn't have "happy ears."
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19. Gets Commitments and Decisions

  • Has good "Up-Front" contracts.
  • Gets "yes" or "no" decisions.
  • Doesn't "roll over" when they get a "no."
  • Finds out the "conviction" level.
  • Is willing to hear "no."
  • Always knows what will happen next.

20. Strong Desire for Success

  • Has goals.
  • Is "money" motivated.
  • Willing to take risks.
  • Has the incentive to perform tasks that may be uncomfortable.
  • Is self-motivated.
  • Undying urge to become the best.

21. Commitment - Doing What It Takes for Success

  • Is a winner.
  • Does what non-winners won't do.
  • Is willing to risk.
  • Will put themselves in "high risk" situations
  • Willing to force a "no" from the prospect.
  • Unconditional even if: afraid, uncomfortable, or in disagreement over goal.
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