Ten Traits of Top Salespeople

Ten traits are common to the most effective salespeople—those salespeople who, by instinct, intense practice, or a combination of the two, manage to pull ahead of the pack year after year.

These salespeople are the ones who tend to receive the most impressive career rewards both financially and psychologically. They are able to achieve exceptional success in markets and industries where others consistently flounder. They achieve success and enjoy the process. And they are rewarded mightily for their efforts. Here’s what they have in common:

  1. They are obsessed about getting to the next step. These reps know that interest is measured by commitment. That means that a prospect who agrees to meet with you again at a specific date and time is more interested in working with you than someone who says, “Let’s try to talk about this sometime next quarter.”
  2. They understand the need to prospect. They reach out to new people every single day – no matter what. World class salespeople know that no one ever gets too successful to prospect. Quite the opposite: Daily commitment to prospecting is what makes long term success possible.
  3. They are focused on finding out what their prospects do. Superior salespeople don’t get sidetracked by what they imagine their prospect “needs.” Instead, they focus on learning everything they can about what their prospects do…and then try to find ways to help people do what they do better.
  4. They anticipate responses. Superior sales performers are not taken by surprise. They know how to handle the obstacles that come their way, and they prepare effective turnarounds that they deliver quickly and confidently.
  5. They understand the need to get appointments. Superstar salespeople realize that appointments are what give you prospects… and prospects are what give you sales. Without new face-to-face meetings with people, the income stream eventually dries up.
  6. They count the “No” answers, not the “Yes” answers. Truly world class sales people realize that a certain number of “No” answers are what make any “Yes” answer possible. That means that each “No” answer is worth money! Superstars identify their own personal ratios – and start counting “No” answers as they collect them.
  7. They understand the need to verify information. Top salespeople understand that the quality of the information they receive gets better as their relationship with any given contact gets older. They understand the necessity of verifying everything they’ve learned from a contact… before making a formal presentation.
  8. They use managers and others within the organization effectively.  Superior salespeople realize that “bringing the manager in” or “bringing the technical people in” is an excellent way to continue a relationship with a prospect. As a result, they’re not afraid to ask others within their organization to attend second or subsequent meetings.
  9. They take the time to learn. World-class salespeople are always on the lookout for new ways to improve themselves. Their attitude is simple: If they get just one idea they can implement profitably from a book, tape or training program, they come out ahead of the game.
  10. They believe they’re the best. Superstars begin with a simple, unshakable assumption: They know what they’re doing, and they’re in a better position to help their customers than anyone else.

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