You can’t be sure what characteristics determine who will be the better salesperson. Nothing takes the place of talent, timing and luck when it comes to making sales. However, many of the better catering salespeople have and use these characteristics:
Uses time properly and isn’t afraid to stop a selling situation to move on to someone else. This is a rather advanced concept. Very few catering salespeople are willing to stop a sales presentation because they have decided the buyers in front of them are not likely to result in a successful sale. The ability to take this action will result in increased sales volume and prevent burnout in the salesperson.
Is always honest and user-friendly to the buyer and those influencing the purchase. When a salesperson realizes that buyers are looking for honesty, magical things happen. This is especially true when the honesty is in direct response to a question from the buyers. User-friendly means more than just being happy or getting coffee for them. It means the salesperson, after deciding what the buyer’s hot buttons are, makes it clear that the client’s wants will be met and fears will be avoided.
Speaks clearly and precisely at all times, particularly during a selling interview. This may seem obvious, but I’ve often watched salespeople who really don’t understand how they sound to the buyers. To understand how you sound, tape some presentations. Do it while speaking over the phone or during a real selling situation with buyers present, then critique how you sound when you replay the tape.
Understands why the sale was missed. The best salespeople never think they “lost” a sale. Instead, they believe that they “missed” something that permitted the buyer to select the competition over them. They think about what they said to the buyers and what the buyers said to them during the missed sale. In many ways, it’s like football players watching the tapes of last week’s game.
Plans sales calls in advance and makes a plan for each day. This is one I watch for when determining if a particular salesperson is great. Anyone can react to callers who come to them, but great talents are proactive and go after sales before they come into the company’s system. These great talents know whom they are going to call and whom they are going to see long before they actually do it.