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Wanted for Hire: Great Salesperson Skills Required: Many!

The MHEDA Journal went to the MHEDA Group on LinkedIn and asked the experts what it took for a salesperson to succeed in today’s economy.


Email and social media are becoming the norm. Know how to properly use technology and still build relationships with customers on a personal level. There must be a balance between selling digitally and selling personally. Today’s successful sales rep knows how to do both.

– Posted by Mark Milovich, President, Lift Atlanta

Offer a solution first and sell the equipment second.

– Posted by Bill Elliott, Engineered Systems Manager, CMH Services

Be aware of what the dealership can do for the customer. Selling equipment is the goal, but don’t be myopic by only selling equipment. The relationship may need to be developed through rental, parts or service first, with the equipment sale coming down the road.

– Posted by Mike Vaughan, CFO, Liftech Equipment Companies

Be a great listener and synthesizer of information and be really smart! Technology and information is coming at us like a fire hose, and it takes a smart person, willing and able to embrace today’s tools, to be most effective.

– Posted by Barry Lauterwasser, President, Symbion Marketing

Take notes and organize them for future reference, especially at those initial meetings where a prospect tells you a lot of important details. I’ve recently been more open to using a dashboard view to see pipeline stages relating to my sales opportunities for focus and actions I need to take.

– Posted by Jeff B, Pedigree Technologies

Listen and then find the need behind the need.

– Posted by Dave Halker, Director of Business Development, SpanTech

God gave you two ears but one mouth, use them proportionately. If you’re smart enough to follow that rule, everything else will come easy. Add enthusiasm and a positive attitude and you cannot miss.

– Posted by Bill Rowan, President, Sunbelt Industrial Trucks

Build trust, identify real problems and offer practical solutions. These skills are more important today due in large part to the fact that there are so many gifted pretenders out there who are looking simply to “take the deal” with a quick fix of a low price, and there are fewer experienced buyers who can discern the differences between the two.

– Posted by Bill Ryan, Vice President and General Manager at LiftOne

Be smart and innovative. Try to understand the customer’s entire business, long-term needs and intentions. Be perceived as a partner in your customer’s business, more like a manager, not just a simple salesperson.

– Posted by Valentin Hord, Sales Manager at Toyota Material Handling Romania

Be a presence in the customer’s business. Be there when there is no order forthcoming. In short, be a resource.

– Posted by Richard Knuth, National Account Manager, The Raymond Corporation

Customers don’t care about your past and the names of those Fortune 100 companies you have helped. They expect you to listen, understand, ask pertinent questions and lay out multiple solutions. We live in the social media world, but a follow-up handwritten thank you note is a good way to thank them for the opportunity.

– Posted by Lawrence Zaiter, Regional Sales Manager, ShockWatch

Outwork your competition. Get to work early and plan your calls. Know your customers when you call on them. To be successful and make money will require 10-12 hour days, including a lot of Saturdays. Sometimes, Sundays can be a good planning day.

– Posted by Marshall Cromer, President, Cromer Equipment

Service the customer after the sale, a forgotten art.

– Posted by Bill Rosado, Account Manager, Jerkins Creative Consulting


Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association