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What are the Top Ten traits of a Sales Professional in today’s market


Sales professional

1. An ability to prepare and plan


Being able to conduct a detailed SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of any prospective sales situation and ability to "think in ink" - put your thoughts in writing (offering clarity and focus)

2. An ability to be persistent - ability to keep going despite knock-backs


Being able to keep your mind on the job in hand and maintain concentration until the job is finished - often in spite of distractions, let downs, rejection, disappointments and negative feedback. A hugely important factor when prospecting for new business.

3. A thirst for knowledge - of your company, your products, your industry and yourself


Being able to find time each day to research, read and review material or feedback on your company, products, services, competition, personal development and yourself.

4. Superb questioning and negotiation skills


Knowing when to use open and closed questions and in what sequence. Questions are the answer to acquiring sales today. Also to know the structure of a successful negotiation process and work with same.

5. Powerful presentation skills - ability to persuade and influence


Being able to speak in public and on a one to one and group basis with confidence, style, authority, timing and conviction. Being able to manage difficult questions and people. Being able to convert product features into specific benefits for prospective customers. Knowing how to use visualsto best effect and importantly, how to handle what is usually the biggest objection or concern to a sale - the Price objection.

6. Ability to handle general objections


Being able to systematically and impressively deal with each and every objection as it occurs to the extent of turning each into a reason to buy.

7. Ability to understand and maximise the use of any marketing support material that is available


Being able to promote, use and develop marketing support materials and opportunities to compliment and enforce your sales offering.

8. Ability to ask for the business


Being able to confidently ask for the business. Being able to convince prospective customers that you "want" their business.

9. Ability to complete the business - neatly and professionally


Being able to put in place the logical sequence of events that must take place in order to put the product or service in place with the minimum of disruption and hassle to your customer. Now that you've won the ball, score the goal!

10. Ability to generate leads - get referrals from satisfied customers


Being able to ask for referrals from your satisfied customer with confidence and ease. Being able to create an awareness with customers that this is routine practice for you on an ongoing basis and then following through on any leads granted.

If you possessed the above traits, you would indeed be a star performer. In my experience sales people have some of the above skills, some of the time. Sales people do not have all of the skills, all of the time. But through continuous focus, dedication, persistence and commitment, you can be among the best there is. The opposite to best is not bad! We all know what bad performance looks like. The opposite to best today - is good. Good enough never is!

Whether you think you can or can't - you're right!

....Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company

Dermot McConkey is Managing Director of McConkey Performance Management Limited. Their clients include many of Ireland's leading companies including most of the major Irish Banks, Building Societies & Insurance Companies.

They also work with companies in the Manufacturing, Optical, Building, Hotel and Service Industries. Dermot, who produced his first book - "Onwards and Upwards In Words" last year and who has justed launched an innovative new sales course withsupporting inter-active software - Go sell whatever you want to sell, lectures on Negotiation Skills for the Dublin Institute of Technology and The Cork Institute of Technology on their Diploma in Professional Selling course, for the Sales Instituteof Ireland.

For further information on their sales courses contact or by phoning (01) 8403059 or (021) 438 3932.