12 Things That Make a Great Salesperson


Throw it back to the days when Blockbuster video stores stood apart from all others because they greeted every single person that entered their stores, every single time? How about Domino’s Pizza? They started the “You’ll have it in 30 minutes or less or it’s free policy”.  Who can forget FedEx’s “When it absolutely has to be their overnight” motto? All good campaigns. Game-changers back in the day.

Enter 2021. No more Blockbuster. You’d be hard-pressed to walk into any retail store anywhere you are NOT personally greeted. You won’t order a pizza for delivery from anyone (including Doordash) if it takes any longer than 20 minutes (yes, Jimmy John’s blows that number away in the sandwich market). And even the U.S. Post office will get your package there next day. It’s standard practice these days. Entry level stakes – don’t do these things & you’re not even in the game.

There are thousands of more examples of what used to set people & companies apart – about what used to be great.

When it comes to the selling profession here is a similar list. It was only 15-20 years ago that these qualities actually set salespeople apart from their competition. It wasn’t long ago that if you did & /or believed these things you were on a path to greatness in sales. Not anymore. Entry level stakes in 2021.

  1. A great salesperson sets goals

Try not setting goals & see if you get where you want to go. Not a chance. But, that would assume you knew where you wanted to go . . .

How many salespeople do you know that go to work? Call it a job (& hate it). Keep hours (9 to 5). Come home & never think about their career until they walk in the office in the morning. They’re out there. You compete with them every day. To be great, that’s not an option in 2017. If sales is not a lifestyle for you, why do it?

Ain’t that the truth? Average salespeople are all about making sure they win. To the great salesperson, winning is what it’s all about, but only if others win with them. That creates job security.

Even online businesses know what great service is. If you get lazy on this one you can kiss your business good-bye. You know your competition is dying to pick up when you stub your toe!

Do they like it? No. They are comfortable with it. How else do you get to reality unless you are comfortable with the word NO? You can’t go 10 for 10 consistently. Great salespeople get to reality early on in a sales call (& NO is one of the realities) because they know the most valuable asset is their own time.

If you don’t know what you are doing tomorrow, next week, the week after that, etc. (because it’s all on a calendar that syncs with your cell phone & desktop or laptop) do yourself a favor & find a new career. You are getting run over.

They’re the people others gravitate toward in all types of situations, & as a result, they understand the importance of leadership. Work on your charisma – it’s either helping you or killing you.

They understand what worked for them last year may not work this year, & as a result, they are continually looking to refine their process. How many salespeople do you know that brag about their 20-30 years of experience? Yet, when you get to know them, it’s crystal clear that they only have 1 year of experience . . . 20-30 times?

They don’t pass blame & they sure as hell don’t make (or allow) excuses to come up as to why they weren’t able to accomplish something. The last thing a great salesperson will do is throw somebody under the bus to make themselves look good. The great ones know about karma. You know what they say about karma . . .

  • A great salesperson lives by a code. Not just when it’s going well – but when it’s going bad, too

To them, the measure of a person is how they handle things when mistakes are made, problems arise & the train goes off the tracks. To them, this is where they get to separate themselves from everyone else.

They don’t even like presentations. They know to truly understand the needs of the customer, they must listen. That means having a discussion. Canned presentations don’t ask questions – or listen.

They live in the now &, at the same time, are always mindful about tomorrow.

Yes, there is a difference between greatness & merely being average. What is most interesting about this list is that none of these items cost a thing. Not only that, you aren’t born with these qualities. These are skills & traits that are free & anyone can learn. How great is that?

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Dave Tear

Dave is passionate about selling & helping others understand the sales process. Whether a client company has a 5 person sales team or a 300 person National sales force, Dave can Coach & Train them to be the best in their industry.
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