In sales, leadership is primarily the ability to influence. Traditional sales methods place great emphasis on presenting the offer, and thus on speaking. Modern sales leadership, however, is above all the ability to ask the right questions and listen empathically.
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A few years ago, 4P Research Mix and the IQS and Quant Group published research defining the eight personality traits of an ideal salesperson. These include: leadership, assertiveness, empathy, diligence, extraversion, positive thinking, openness to experience, and emotionality. Since perfection is so rare in nature, we decided to narrow it down to the two most important traits. It turned out that the most successful salespeople are primarily characterised by leadership and extraversion. While it’s impossible to ‘become’ an extrovert, that is, a person who draws energy from the environment, is social, and likes to be the centre of attention, leadership is a competence that can be honed and systematically raised.
How can I become a leader in sales?
In sales, leadership is primarily about the ability to influence others. It is also the ability to set goals and motivate others to achieve them. A leader is effective, builds long-term relationships, and thinks strategically. How can you translate these skills into the sales process?
The five features of an empathic salesperson
- The ability to ask questions with interest
- The ability to observe closely
- The ability to listen carefully and be ‘in the here and now’
- The ability to paraphrase
- The ability to summarise efficiently, which is the basis for formulating solutions