Monday, August 10, 2015

How do you recognize professionalism in someone?

Merriam-Webster defines "professionalism" as " the skill, good judgment, and polite behavior
that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well."

Not so long ago there were only a few professions that people referred to as 'professionals,' i.e. doctors, attorneys, CPAs, musicians, and certain ball players.  Now almost every profession boasts of being a 'professional.'  So what comes to your mind when you hear the word professional especially as it relates to an individual in the sales field?
Here are 15 traits that I believe demonstrates a persons' professionalism:
1.     Their positive attitude.  Rarely do you see a real professional with a negative attitude. They see the glass as half full instead of half empty.
2.     Their timeliness.  A Professional is early ALL THE TIME.  They demonstrate by their actions how much they value YOUR TIME by being early.
3.     Their commitment.  A Professional is committed to doing the best job possible in their given industry.
4.     Their appearance.  Professionals look the part of their industry.  Would you want your financial advisor running around in a jogging suit? Would you expect your fitness trainer to be wearing a suit?  First impressions are very important.  Sometimes you don’t get a second chance.
5.     They are prepared.  Professionals don’t ‘wing-it.’  They are prepared at all times with their sales presentation and materials.
6.     They focus.  They are focused on the task at hand.  They silence their cell phone and give their undivided attention to the person or the meeting.
7.     Demonstrates a willingness to learn.  A professional is superbly knowledgeable about their product or service, yet is always wanting to learn more.  If they don’t know the answer, they are honest and will say so, but are willing and eager to research in order provide the correct information.
8.     Their reliability.  Professionals do what they say they will do and usually more.  
9.     They follow-up and follow through.  Professionals follow up to ensure their clients and prospects have all they need to feel comfortable with their decisions.  They also keep in touch with prospects for when the time is right to make a decision to move forward.
10.  They are accountable.  They understand their commitments and typically hold themselves to a higher standard than what is expected.
11.  They add value.  A professional usually delivers more than they said they would.  They are ‘Solution Driven’, i.e. they want to help the client find the best solution even if that means not making a sale.
12.  They are trustworthy.  Professionals can be trusted to provide their prospects and clients with industry information, not just information about their particular product/service.  
13.  They are Caring.  Professionals always demonstrate their caring people skills by treating others as "people" rather than "resources."  They listen, they’re empathic, and want to learn more about the person and their needs.
14.  They are not ‘Pushy.’  Professionals understand that it’s more about building the relationship rather than just making the sale.  They do not shame or bully a prospect into buying their product/service.
15.  Gracious.  Professionals are gracious.  They present their products or services, but realize that not every person will become a client.  Also, they do not bash another product/service/company and/or sales individual.
What else would you add to this list?  What other character traits do you look for in a sales person?
Happy Selling,
"Helping My Clients and Their Business Look Good"


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