Becoming a great salesperson is something that involves making the most of innate talents while also developing those gifts in a manner that wins the trust of potential clients. While there are many different ideas about what makes a great salesman or saleswoman, there are a few basic traits that are likely to apply in just about any situation. Those traits include honesty, integrity, working knowledge of the products sold, and the ability to communicate with potential and current clients in a manner that makes closing the sale an easy task.
Any great salesperson will choose to be open and honest with clients. This means avoiding situations in which promises are made that cannot possibly be kept. Nothing harms a relationship more than committing to providing a good or service and then not being able to deliver. Great salespeople pride themselves on making sure that clients are not misled about what can and cannot be done with a given product, and will go out of their way to come up with an alternative solution when and if unanticipated events render access to a given product impossible after that commitment is made.
In order to be a truly great salesperson, a working knowledge of the goods or services sold is essential. While the salesperson does not have to be an expert in all aspects of the product, that knowledge must extend to the practicalities of the product, especially in terms of potential use by a client. For example, a car salesperson does not have to know how to repair an engine, but should be acquainted well enough with the makes and models on the lot to help potential buyers identify the cars or trucks that seem to be a good fit for their needs.
Communication is also crucial in order to be a great salesperson. Since communication involves both the ability to listen and the ability to respond in a clear, concise manner, people who are successful in sales use all their senses when interacting with a client. This means not only hearing the words spoken but also making note of facial expression, inflection and body language as part of the process. A great salesperson is not afraid to ask clarifying questions and to listen closely to the responses in order to help a customer make the right type of purchase. Without this ability to interact with the client effectively, the chances of making a sale and enjoying repeat business from that customer is greatly diminished.