Judging by The Apprentice, Alan Sugar’s idea of a “great sales person” seems to be someone pushy and loud, who has no shame when it comes to hassling passers by.
And I want to say “NO!”
The two most important qualities of a sales person are
a) being liked
b) being a good listener
and often the Apprentice “sales people” have neither.
Walking around the streets heckling people with a megaphone isn’t selling. Barging in to a customer’s office and ramming your proposition down their throat isn’t selling. Selling is getting to know your customers, understanding them, and based on a knowledge of their needs, giving them what they want. Or at least showing them how what you are offering can help them. Louder isn’t going to be better, and you can’t win arguments by being louder – listening is the only way to turn someone around.
And of course my two sales qualities are related, because being a good listener will make you more likely to be liked. The objective is to be liked by as many people as possible, because every customer who doesn’t like you is almost certainly a lost sale.
And by the way, on The Apprentice they don’t do their brainstorming correctly either – as soon as the first idea comes in they judge it, often negatively, so the creative people soon give up. Ideally they would collect as many ideas as possible, sparking off each other, recording everything good or bad, and then, after that, select the best one. And the manager should keep out of it rather than pushing their own pet idea.
There we are, that’s the end of my rant, I feel better now!
Onwards and upwards
PS Have a look at 45 minutes of good stuff from David Allen, the time management guru, for free on youtube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qo7vUdKTlhk&feature=related