Do You Have What It Takes? —DeWese
So far, you should have at least 30 points. If you are below 20, then you should think about applying for a job in bill collecting. You know, banks, loan companies or credit card collections.
5. Responsiveness. You are super-fast in returning phone calls and e-mails. You respond to customers in minutes, not hours—even if they are red-hot mad and calling to complain. You are just as responsive to small accounts as you are to your largest account.
6. Knowledge. Great salespeople know their products thoroughly, and have the ability to educate and persuade coworkers to meet their own high standards.
7. Creativity. Excellent sales professionals are spontaneously creative, which gives them the ultimate competitive edge. This applies to problem solving for customers or on-the-spot humor. The world is starving for laughter.
8. Persuasiveness. You understand and practice the principles of the Socratic Method for persuasion. If you are going to survive the future, then look it up and learn it.
9. Closing skills. You know how and are willing to close. If you are good at this, you'll also be good at any potentially "confrontational" situation. You know how to ask for the order and then shut up! You should rate yourself a superior closer. It requires courage.
10. You are diligent—a worker who's willing to put in 14-hour days. Someone willing to call on a prospect in creative, non-annoying ways until you have unequivocally disqualified the account. This requires stamina, creativity and optimism.
There are at least a dozen more skills and/or characteristics a good graphic arts salesperson should have, but I will have to write about them later. I'm out of space for this column.
If you scored less than 60, you probably ought to investigate one of the other career paths I noted earlier. Oh, and how about becoming a forest ranger—the kind of ranger who sits at the top of a tower and watches for forest fires. But don't take this job in California. There are too many actual fires.