Seven traits for modern day solution sellers

If you’ve worked in sales for any length of time, you’ve probably already noticed that things have shifted – a lot – in the last few years. Buying behaviors have changed dramatically, so we now operate in an “asymmetric” environment where buyers are better informed and more empowered than they used to be. Traditional sales tactics aren’t working so well (or at all), so a different mindset is required, and ideally, a different management approach to go with it. Here are some character traits that I hope will help you embrace a mindset fit for purpose for 21st century sellers.

Be Human

Be yourself. People buy from people. Don’t be a sales robot, slavishly following your step-by-step process. Be interested in who your customer or prospect is. Show some empathy or EQ. Remember, they’re not a target, they’re a person.

Be Humble

Nobody likes a show off. It’s not about you, or how good your product, solution, offering is. It’s about them, your customer – make them the centre of attention, make them look good. Be worthy of praise, but don’t seek it.

Be Honest

Build trust, and be trustworthy. Say what you’ll do and do what you said you’d do. Transparency helps build trust. Be open, have nothing to hide. Know when to say, you know what, I don’t think my solution is the right fit for you. Don’t embellish or over-hype, just tell it like it really is.

Be Helpful

Add value at every step. Become indispensable to them and their business. Become the person they want to spend time with. Invest energy in solving your customer’s problems, even if your return isn’t obvious or immediate.

Be Hungry

Always be looking for what more you can do. Be ambitious. Be a go getter and a go giver. Be proactive. Seek improvements to everything. Challenge the status quo. Nothing is sacred. Make change happen!

Be Heroic

Go the extra mile. Save their day. Under promise and over deliver. Take (measured) risks. Don’t be afraid to be innovative or creative. Have the courage to try new ideas, no matter how crazy they may seem.

Be Honorable

Be your best self. Act like a professional. Act with integrity. Act ethically.  Think and act with others first in mind. Know that whatever the outcome, you did your best and should hold your head high.

These are some of the characteristics I have tried to adopt over the years. As always in life, there’s no perfect solution to anything, but I genuinely do think that they have helped me to achieve a level of success – in terms of happy customers, work-life balance, and my sanity. If you’re already embracing and exhibiting these traits, good for you – happy selling!