Alertness is nothing but presence of mind regarding what to say, how to say and on what occasion. In selling, the salesman should be alert, attentive and active so that he is able to tackle and handle consumers effectively and efficiently.
An alert salesman has quick reflexes and keen mind to deal with every type of situation. He is able to meet objections, remove them, know the actual need and serve to the best satisfaction of the customers. Thus, alertness or mental agility helps the salesman meet each and every type of selling situation.
It is an important mental trait which assists the salesman to understand the problems and difficulties of the prospects he is dealing with. The salesman, in fact, needs to have a creative mind. This is necessary to have a customer oriented thinking. At times, customers just enter into the shop either with a vague idea about the product or even without it. Further, some customers ask for certain articles without knowing their brand name.
Some may even drop into the shop without any specific requirement. An imaginative salesman is able to know the exact requirements of such customers. He is in a position to visualise the goods needed by such customers.
This mental quality of reading the buyer’s mind is called empathy. This quality keeps the salesman aware of the buyer’s requirement and assists the buyers to choose and select such products which are really needed by them.
Confidence is essential for achieving success in any sphere of activity. In case of salesmanship, the need for self-confidence is seriously felt since the salesman is continuously subjected to resistance, discouragement and opposition. The self-confidence of the salesman should be focussed on himself and the goods and services he is selling to the consumers.
Knowledge of the goods and services being offered for sale and knowledge of the customer’s needs builds the self-confidence of the salesman, to face and tackle selling effectively and efficiently. A thorough knowledge of the market, the product and the prospect, provides an air of confidence to the salesman to persuade and convince customers.
To be successful in the job of selling, a salesman needs a lot of initiative. It is nothing but the ability to work on one’s own without any guidance from anybody. Otherwise called self-reliance, it is a very useful quality which helps the salesman to reach new heights of success in his selling job.
The salesman should be able to handle difficult situations independently on his own initiative. Through imitativeness, a salesman can sell more products to old customers as well as create new customers.
An initiative oriented salesmen is able to communicate the reactions and the suggestions of the customers to the producers. Alternatively, he also informs the customers about the latest innovations and changes in the product range. Thus, the mental attributes of initiative or self-reliance is indispensable for success in selling.
Another important attribute of a salesman is sharp memory, i.e. capacity to recognise customers, recall previous meetings and recollect their specific requirements and suggestions. The best way for developing such memory is to keep record of various important points for future references. In this way, a salesman can become accurate and alert while dealing with customers. This habit also infuses a lot of confidence and makes the salesman well prepared for all types of selling situations.
Another important quality of the salesman is keen observation. A salesman should be quick and sharp in his observations about customers. He should keenly observe the changes in taste, style and fashion of people, activities of the rivals and changes taking place in political, economic and technological fields.
In short, he should have knowledge of what is happening all around and for that he should keep his eyes and ears open always. The salesman should minutely notice the dressing pattern, facial expression, gesture, language of the prospects etc. so that he can persuade and convince the customers easily.
Resourcefulness is closely linked with imagination. It is the ability to think about the alternatives and find out new ideas. This ability helps the salesman to be more creative as well as confident.
Knowledge of goods, customers and their buying motives usually makes a salesman more resourceful. If a customer asks a resourceful salesman about a specific product, which the salesman does not have, he never says ‘no’.
Either he offers the customer an alternative product or promises to arrange the required product in near future. This attitude of the salesman not only makes the customer satisfied but also helps the salesman in striking the sale.
Cheerfulness is a state of mind and it is also infectious. Therefore, everyone wants to be cheerful. A cheerful smile not only makes the other person happy but also removes all kinds of tension. By being cheerful, a salesman is able to attract more and more customers. A cheerful attitude induces the customers to call the salesman again and again. Good health, vigour and a rich sense of humour are the essentials to remain cheerful.