An old saying goes…Curiosity killed the cat….essentially meant to be a deterrent to those who are deemed too nosy for their own good in civil society.
BUT…for those of us who want to make a mark as sales stars, this goes against our grain….
CURIOSITY would be one critical attribute that I would personally pick from my 18 years experience as a sales professional that has contributed to my success.
According to me Curiosity is the key to unlocking every door that leads towards consistent sales performance. Consider the following:
- Relationship Building. People are drawn to those who show true interest in them. Having an abiding fascination in others give you the opportunity to learn new things and make new connections. (Without relationships, relationship management skills and enduring relationships , transcending time, YOU dont have a future as a sales super star!!)
- Business Acumen. If you’re curious about your own industry and the industries of your prospects, you’ll always be learning more, and therefore always increasing your ability to add value. ( Subject matter expertise is today defined by the depth of knowledge that you have about the domain, the business vertical and the general business eco-system, so invest in this folks!!)
- Problem Solving. If you’re going to delve into customer difficulties, and ask plenty of questions, you’d better have some real curiosity or you’ll just be waiting for a chance to sell. ( If you serious about a long term play in sales, are crazy driven to become a sales super star, and are active in the solutions sales business, problem solving skills are extremely important to ensure your qualified success as a professional !!)
- Developing New Skills. Constantly honing your selling ability requires constant curiosity about what’s out there to learn, what would benefit you most, and how you can get the training you need. (Your soft skills and hard skills need to be upgraded constantly , keeping pace with the fast paced market dynamics of contemporary business eco-systems, so learn, learn learn !!)
- Objection Handling. If you’re not curious about the customer’s real motives, objections are just obstacles rather than a golden opportunity to learn something more about the customers. (Face it….your clients test you at every turn of the sales process by objecting to every sales pitch that you make… internalizing the ability to manage the devils advocates with your client community will help you become a respected sales star!!)
- Contract Negotiating. If you’re not curious about the concerns of the other party, you’ll immediately find yourself at loggerheads, arguing about issues that aren’t really important to either party. ( Important part of the sales closing skill that every sales guy needs to have in his armory!!)
- Lifelong Learning. When you bungle a deal or the customer buys from somebody else, if you’re not curious about what that happened, you won’t bother to find out, and won’t learn from the failure. ( Many sales reps say this, BUT few really mean it…believe me, it pays tremendously to invest in learning throughout your professional career- learn from your channel partners, learn from the distributor, learn from your mentor, learn from your teacher, go back to school, just promise to learn every day and you will NOT Fail!!)
Curiosity. Gotta have it.
Without it, you’re just an order taker!!!