How To Be A Successful Salesperson (Even During Hard Times)

Salesman listens to a customer on the phone

Being a successful salesperson is easier said than done. If you're looking to be a better salesperson and reach your career goals, we have some timely advice for you.

We recently reached out to Zac Croteau, one of Work It Daily's old interns, who was willing to share what he's learned as a leading salesperson at Dell.

Here are his tips for being a successful salesperson, even during hard times.

1. Be The Hardest Worker In The Room

Salesperson works hard to meet her goals


"You often hear younger sales professionals asking veteran sales professionals, 'What's the trick?' or 'What's your secret to being successful?' In my opinion, there is no trick or secret to being successful in this profession," Zac says.

To be a successful salesperson, Zac believes you should aim to be the hardest worker in the room.

"Now I say hardest worker, but I don't say work the longest hours. Always look at your strategy and figure out ways you can be better and always look to engage with your customers as much as you can."

Doing just that, in Zac's experience, is the first step to getting ahead in your sales career.

2. Embrace Uncomfortable Conversations

Salesman talks to a customer


"You're often faced with uncomfortable conversations in a sales career," Zac states. "Anytime you're asking someone for money in exchange for a product can be intimidating for even the most seasoned sales professional."

Despite this, Zac says you can't be afraid of those uncomfortable conversations. You must embrace them.

"I was told early on in my career that to be successful in this industry, you need to 'get comfortable being uncomfortable.' And that is something that has really stuck with me."

3.  Be Passionate, Relentless, And Tenacious

Saleswoman smiles at work


A common misconception people have about sales is that, in order to be successful, you need to be a "smooth talking, slick, extrovert."

"This is just a stereotype," Zac continues. "I say this because I actually consider myself to be more of an introvert."

Based on his experience as a successful salesperson, Zac believes you really only need three specific soft skills to be the best in the industry: passion, relentlessness, and tenacity.

"Without drive, and a commitment to succeeding, it's hard to have a career in sales. You need to be able to bounce back. As salespeople, we face rejection nearly every day, sometimes multiple times a day. If you can take that rejection and ultimately understand why you're being rejected, you'll be more valuable to your customer as a problem solver, account manager, and trusted advisor."

4. Listen And Care

Salesperson listens to help a customer


Zac's last tip for being a successful salesperson is to simply listen and care.

"If you're trying to sell to customers without listening and understanding their problems, you won't sell a thing," Zac states. "I've always been successful because I do everything I can, not only to take the extra mile, but the extra 10 miles to ensure that my customer's experience is the very best it can possibly be."

So, how do you ensure your customers are having the best experience? Zac believes your job is not only to sell, but to be a trusted advisor to all of your customers.

"Listen and understand the challenges they are facing, bring in the correct resources to further the discussion, and develop solutions that will solve each of those challenges for your customer."

Don't be surprised if you build strong relationships with your customers after employing this strategy. That is definitely one of the perks of having a career in sales.

"To know that I am taking an active part in assisting my customer in developing solutions to whatever challenge they face, I would say that is my favorite part of this job," Zac says.

Even during tough times, if you follow these four tips, you'll find success as a salesperson.

Many thanks to Zac Croteau for his contributions to this article!

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