At large companies, salespeople have large support teams to stand behind. However, a small business salesperson must be a master of all aspects of the trade, able to generate leads, prepare presentations and make calls. In addition, a good small business sales team member must possess self-direction, strong initiative and a drive for success.
A strong sales staff can help your business grow and thrive. If you are searching for a small business salesperson, you likely have a wish list of traits and experience that's a mile long. The following five traits should rise to the top, however.
- Self-starter: Most salespeople are motivated, but a small business sales professional must be extremely self-motivated. A self-starter is a person who takes initiative, and isn't afraid to roll up their sleeves and tackle anything that needs to be done to successfully accomplish a goal. When interviewing candidates, ask for specific examples that demonstrate self-motivation.
- Motivated by money: Your small business may choose to skew sales salaries toward results. A person seeking a sales position in such a situation must be motivated by money in order to be successful, since their salary depends on sales success, not just time invested in the process. Someone who likes to work on commission will likely be a better fit for a small business, even if you pay a base salary.
- Team player: Prima donnas need not apply to a small business; there's no time to cater to their whims. Look for someone who gets along well with others and knows how to work as part of a team.
- Multitasker: Small firms rarely have lead generation departments working for the sales team. Instead, sales members must generate and follow up on all leads themselves. Salespeople may be working with potential clients at various points of the pipeline at one time. Multitasking is essential.
- Optimistic: An optimist believes in the potential of a situation. Just as you believe in the potential of your small business, you want to look for a sales professional who shares that optimism — it will shine through when your new hire is generating leads and speaking to prospects. An optimistic attitude is even more important than thick skin for a small business salesperson.
Finding great talent isn't easy. But by keeping your eye out for these traits — and with a little luck — you can find the right small business salesperson to help grow your business.
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