Believe it or not, but if you want to know how to be the best salesperson, start by thinking about the traits of professionals who serve others.
When you ask somebody to think about the most helpful professions, they’ll probably say teachers, medical professionals, emergency responders, or clergy. Understandably so.
Salespeople… probably won’t be anybody’s answer.
But if you believe in what you sell, your priority is to help people—not close as many deals as possible. Probably not making millions of dollars and not becoming a famous brand ambassador or something.
Now, of course, doing some of the above means you can help more people, so that might be an aspect of your goals. And there’s nothing wrong with including “sell more” as a reason for learning how to be the best salesperson.
But for the individual prospect, it’s about helping them make their lives better with the service or product you sell. That’s why the H in Sherpa stands for Helpful.
Unfortunately, the world doesn’t always see it that way.
Stop acting like a salesperson and just talk to people.
Due to sales culture, bad training, and wrong mindsets, people are often distrustful of salespeople. They think they have one goal in mind and one reason for doing what they do: close the deal.
And for a lot of salespeople, that’s probably true. They take a job in sales just because they need a job. Hey, we’ve all been there.
But if you’re not in that position, the “I just need to hit quota this month” fix, you can help change this viewpoint. The best salesperson can be more comfortable in conversations, and they know how to sell without selling.
When I talk about improving conversations and uncovering your prospect’s pains/needs, sure, doing that will make closing deals easier. It’s more than that though. It’s also about helping them make the best decision, even if saying no is the right one.
Maybe your service/product isn’t the right one for them. If your motivation is directed towards helping your prospect, being honest about that serves you better. Then you can point them in the right direction. This builds trust that creates a lasting relationship leading to potential future business.
Before you try to sell them something, uncover what they really need.
The most effective sales conversations take a holistic approach. You’re not just trying to get a yes or no. You’re trying to find the root of their problem, how they’d like it fixed, and how they hope it affects them.
That’s how to be the best salesperson.
Take a doctor, for instance. You come to their clinic complaining of frequent headaches, and they only ask a couple of questions before prescribing pain meds. Yes, that might fix the problem.
But wouldn’t you want to know why you get them and how you can prevent them? I would.
So then you go to a different doctor. They sit down and talk to you before they do any tests. They ask about nutrition and hydration, exercise, stress levels, etc. Then they go through possible preventative measures like increasing your water intake, meditation, earplugs for noise reduction, and so on.
That second doctor is trying to get to the root of the problem. They don’t just want to give you a bandaid; they want to remove the problem for good.
If you truly want to learn how to be the best salesperson, you have to actually help them. When they can feel that, they’ll trust you to guide them towards the right solutions for their needs.
Slow down and take your time so you don’t seem pushy.
As always though, you have to be careful.
For those of us that are eager to help, especially when we know we can, that eagerness can come across the wrong way to our prospects.
It takes us out of the conversation, and that’s when we lose focus. We might respond too excitedly to their complaints about what’s going wrong. We might phrase something a little too strongly.
These seemingly small mistakes can lead your prospect to believe that you’re just trying to close the deal. They feel like another box to be checked, another dollar in your bank account. That’s when you lose them.
All because your eagerness to help was misinterpreted.
Even the best salesperson can be too eager occasionally, but they typically know how to pull back and carry on the conversation.
If you’re genuine in how you talk to them, ask the right questions, and keep your focus on them (not you!), then hopefully you can avoid those mistakes.
How to Be the Best Salesperson by Being a Helper
More than anything, it’s about your mindset. It’s your desire to help other people, whether it’s from increasing their business through a new website, helping them save money with a new phone plan, or getting them into their new home.
No matter how big or small the thing you sell is, if your goal is to improve people’s lives with it, then you’re part of a noble and helpful profession. And you’re already a considerable step above the rest in figuring out how to be the best salesperson you can be.