It has been rightly said that before a salesman is able to sell the goods and services canvassed by him, he has to sell his own self to the prospective customer.
This calls for many sterling qualities on the part of the salesman, important among which are listed below:
Quality # 1. Knowledge of Self:
The job of a salesman is quite onerous. It calls for qualities such as to persuade the customers and to win them over on a permanent basis. However, a person cannot do it unless he is fully aware of the strong and weak points of his own personality, such that when the occasion demands, he can bring forth those characteristics which will help in handling the situation on hand.
Quality # 2. Knowledge of Product:
A salesman should possess thorough knowledge about the product—what materials and techniques have gone into its making, how it is comparable or superior to other similar products in the market, what distribution network exists to market it, and so on.
Quality # 3. Knowledge of Organization:
The salesman should have complete knowledge about the policies, and programmes of his organisation, including the past history and overall philosophy toward customers. The salesman while selling the product sells the prestige, reliability, friendliness, achievement, long-built reputation, experience, and accessibility of the organisation as well.
Quality # 4. Knowledge of Customers:
The salesman should know his existing and prospective customers—what is their economic and social standing, what factors would motivate then to buy his goods, and so en. As far as possible, he should also familiarise himself with the personal attributes, motives, instincts, and desires of his customers.
Quality # 5. Knowledge of Selling Techniques:
The salesman should possess thorough knowledge about the selling techniques, such as, what needs of the customers have to be attended to, how they can be attended to, what actions on his part will make the customers repose complete faith and confidence in him, how prospects can be converted into customers.
Quality # 6. Personal Attributes:
The salesman should possess suitable attributes so as to make the best of his job.
These may be listed as follows:
(1) He should be healthy enough to be able to withstand the rigorous requirements of his job.
(2) He should have a lively and cheerful disposition such that the customers will be instinctively attracted towards him.
(3) He should have decent manners so as to impress his customers.
(4) He should conduct himself in a manner that would convince his customers about the goodness of his employer-company.
(5) He should not suffer from any physical handicaps which might affect his style of functioning.
(6) He should always have a ready and alert mind, and a creative sense of imagination.
(7) He should be a keen observer and a good judge of men and events.
(8) He should have unbounded optimism such that temporary setbacks in his work do not cause him depression or demoralisation.
(9) He should exude an infectious self-confidence.
(10) He should be a good conversationalist, friendly, sociable, such that customers listen to him willingly.
(11) He should be co-operative, tactful, and decisive.