Some Assembly Required

A Leg Up

For most athletes, the primary means by which they demonstrate their balance and endurance are their legs. The supersalesperson uses legwork to achieve these same goals in the sales process. According to surveys of purchasing agents, the most important attributes of a supersalesperson are follow-through and follow-up. In the eyes of the customer, a salesperson's ability to walk through the sales process from beginning to end exemplifies his or her interest in the customer's wants and needs.

With strong legs, the supersalesperson can also "leap tall buildings in a single bound," going above and beyond the average performance. He or she takes calculated risks to reach higher goals. For example, if the average salesperson requires five meetings to close a sale, the supersalesperson sets a goal of sealing a deal in three-and accomplishes it.

But that's not the end of it. "Legs are for pounding the pavement," says Turner. "Sometimes, when all else fails, the best salesperson has to rely on cold- or warm-calling."

The supersalesperson may seem like a dream, but our dreams are often born from reality. Each day, we glimpse fragments of the superhero, especially in the salespeople we admire. What's left for us is to determine how to make those fragments appear more frequently. It's part pluck and part luck.In the end, the supersalesperson guarantees that relationships with customers will lead to one powerful and irrevocable conclusion: The company, the client and the salesperson profit. The supersalesperson is aligned with the business owner. "He's like the founder, but he doesn't want to be the owner," says Chris Campbell, president of Praxis Media, a South Norwalk, Connecticut, producer of multimedia marketing programs. This characteristic is probably the most significant yet elusive; it endows the supersalesperson with the owner's passion and desire for quality and profitable sales without demanding a stake, forever remaining satisfied as a sales professional.

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This article was originally published in the August 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Some Assembly Required.

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