We all like winners and can appreciate superstars when we see them. We admire the superstar athlete who is talented beyond question and helps his team win games. But we’ve seen superstars come in a variety of packages. Some are boisterous and obnoxious to their teammates, fans and opponents. Others are quiet and gentle, shy and retiring, saving their talking for the gridiron or field of play. Others fall somewhere in between. In all cases there is physical skill, talent, discipline and mental toughness. There are similarities with the superstar salesperson, but with a few variations.
What makes a sales rep a star? Producing results and bringing in the numbers, of course. What do top producing reps, i.e., superstars, all have in common? The attributes and make-up of a Sales Superstar are like the balanced five points on a star:
Driver – a self-starter
The best salespeople are those who need no outside motivation. They possess an inner drive that pushes them to limits beyond the common individual. It’s not easily taught. A sales superstar is a natural self-starter.
Technician – technically self-sufficient
The ideal rep can demo the product themselves and only uses technical support for advanced situations or to show team depth. They are knowledgeable about their products and the customer’s environment and problems. They are not simply sellers. They are like good customer-facing mechanics that understand how the engine works. They don’t necessarily know how to build it, but can talk about its basic function and structure.
Facilitator – manages individual and group communications
A superstar rep is fairly adept in handling discussions one-on-one as well as in one-to-many communications. An excellent rep can command a boardroom full of customer and company representatives and facilitate the discussion appropriately with honed knowledge of customers, products, issues and solutions. It’s a skill that comes with experience, confidence and sensitivity—clearly possessed by a sales superstar.
Empathizer – can express identification with others
Another key trait of a superstar salesperson is the ability to identify with others and their issues and problems. They genuinely can respond naturally to the stated situation of prospects, customers and their own internal team. This characteristic stems from a sensitive heart and the ability to fully put themselves in the other person’s shoes and effectively listen with compassion and empathy.
Servant – a humble and healthy sense of self
Finally, an effective sales superstar is ultimately a server of others, like a servant with a heart, and cares for the other person before themselves. This characteristic really stems from their own security and strong sense of self. They are so comfortable with themselves that they don’t have to defend or fight, they actually can care for and desire to serve the other side.
As shown in the diagram below, the attributes and make-up are indeed like the balanced five points on a star. While these gifts and attributes may come naturally to some, they can be honed, developed and fine-tuned. But balance is the key. If any one point is extended or over-exaggerated then the star is off balance. An effective superstar is strong and equally weighted on all superstar points.
Are you a sales superstar?