The Three Core Sales Traits – post by Hunter Ingram

Today we’re featuring a special guest post by HometownQuotes’ co-founder and CEO Hunter Ingram. He’s discussing the core traits every agent must master to close more sales…

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about sales lately. I don’t know about you, but there are so many sales techniques and ideas out there that it’s easy to get lost and difficult to figure out the best process that works for you.  I have read almost every sales book out there and, like most disciplines, I think you can sum it all up on the back of a pack of matches.  I am completely convinced that it only takes three things to be a great salesperson. You don’t have to have all three of them to be good, but I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that there are three things, and three things only, that you need to become a GREAT salesperson.

1. The ability to make friends. Preferably the ability to make friends quickly.  Don’t know how?  Talk to the person about themselves.  People will talk to you for hours about themselves.  Really what is happening with your new found ability to make friends is nothing more than building trust.  After all, friendship is based on trust.  (Dale Carnegie was the master of this.)

There is an old saying that goes something like this:  All things being equal…people buy from who they like.  All things being unequal…people buy from who they like. I don’t buy this (no pun intended) and have come up with my own version:  All things being equal…people buy from who they trust. All things being unequal…people buy from who they trust.  There are TONS of people that I like that I wouldn’t buy a trashcan from.  There are also a good number of people that I don’t particularly like that I would trust with the keys to my house.  Best case scenario?  Be likable AND trustworthy.

2. A deep knowledge of the product. Again, it doesn’t matter what you are talking about.  It can be insurance or a car purchase where you are selling the salesmen on the price you can pay.  When you have an intimate working knowledge of the product in question, you have a huge advantage over someone who doesn’t.

3. A great belief in the product. While I could argue the importance of each of these points, this one is the “game changer”.  When you can show passion about your subject matter, it shows in a way that allows you to overcome the first two.  Think to a time when you were around someone who was on fire for something.  Didn’t it show?  Didn’t it make you excited too?  Amazing how passion is contagious, isn’t it?

On the flip side of this, I once heard a story (don’t recall where it came from or even if it was true) about an insurance agent who asked one of his salespeople why she didn’t have her car insurance with their agency.  Her response?  “I don’t believe in car insurance.”  He fired her on the spot. He couldn’t have someone telling customers what they needed to protect their families who didn’t believe in the product to begin with.

Sure there are many ideologies that will help you improve your sales, but I challenge you to find one that won’t fit underneath the above “master” list. The great salespeople I know don’t have a magic formula, but they all master these three specific characteristics.

Bottom line: To recognize and exceed your sales potential, know your product, believe in your product and make friends quickly.

Hunter Ingram is the co-founder and CEO of HometownQuotes. You can read his bio here.

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