SALES

7 Most Powerful Sales Tools

It's not about the worksheets: These tools are what really create success sales.
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The world is inundated with sales tools: worksheets, playbooks, sales scripts, software, brochures, and so forth.

But all of those sales tools put together are insignificant if you don't have the intellectual and emotional tools that truly create success.

Here are seven sales "tools" you need to develop:

1. Patience

If you're patient, you let customers decide at their own speed.  You realize that nobody ever got a plant to grow faster by pulling at the leaves of a seedling. If you lack patience, you'll be frustrated whenever things take longer than you'd like. Customers will sense your frustration and hesitate to buy.

2. Commitment

If you're truly committed to both your customer's success and your own success, you'll do whatever it takes (within legal and ethical bounds) to get the job done. You'll banish all thoughts of ever giving up. If you lack commitment, you'll consistently fail to follow through–and will often drop the ball at the worst possible moment.

3. Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is contagious: If you're enthusiastic about yourself, your firm and your product, your customers will "pick up" your enthusiasm and believe in your ability to improve their lives.  If you lack enthusiasm, however, you'll always find yourself surrounded by naysayers and endless "objections."

4. Curiosity

Curiosity is essential to growth–and if you're growing as an individual and a professional, you'll spend time each day learning something new to better serve your customers. You'll read books, listen to audio training, take courses, and network with peers. If you're not growing, your ideas will become stale; your career will languish and your ability to compete will slowly drain away.

5. Courage

If you've got courage, you take the necessary risks to expand yourself and your business into new areas–even when you're facing enormous odds. You'll see setbacks as learning opportunities rather than failures.  But if you lack courage, you'll freeze up when things get weird, turning small failures into big ones.

6. Integrity

If you've got integrity, there's no disconnect between your stated purpose and your real motivations. Because there's no hidden agenda, customers sense the honesty and feel comfortable working with you. If you lack integrity, however, customers will have a nagging feeling that something is "not quite right"–and tend to balk rather than buy.

7. Flexibility

Life is all about change; nothing stays the same. If you've got flexibility, you can observe what's working and what's not and change your approach to match changing circumstances. If you lack flexibility, you'll pursue brittle strategies and tactics long after they've ceased to work.

The above is loosely based upon a conversation with Jeff Keller, author of the bestseller Attitude is Everything.

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IMAGE: Flickr/OZinOH
Last updated: May 23, 2012

GEOFFREY JAMES | Columnist

Geoffrey James was recently named a "Top 40 Social Selling Marketing Master" by Forbes, and his blog has won awards from the Society of American Business Editors and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. His writing has appeared in publications as diverse as Wired, Brandweek, and Men's Health, and he is the author of numerous books, including The Tao of Programming, Business Wisdom of the Electronic Elite, and, most recently, Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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