Characteristics of the Best Sales Pros

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” -Mark Twain, Author
  1. They Clearly Understand Their “Why”

To be an extraordinary seller a person needs to discover their “Why.” In his TED talk How Great Leaders Inspire Action, Simon Sinek explains that where most leaders understand “what” their organizations do and “how” they do it, really great leaders are the ones that clearly understand the why behind their product or service. The sales motion is no different. Great sellers are able to understand why they sell a product and how it will genuinely help their customer, resulting in a natural sales process and experience.

  1. They Don’t “Sell” they Act as Trusted Guides

The most effective sales professionals lead with the mindset of wanting to assist and enable versus wanting to sell. They ask themselves how their product can genuinely provide value to their customers by internalizing the benefits that matter to the prospect. In this way, the trusted advisor views their world through a lens of understanding and empathy instead of through a transactional lens.

  1. They Have Clear Intent

Customers can feel when they are being sold and viewed as little more than a conduit to commission. Once a customer catches on that a seller is only in it for the sale and don’t have the customer’s best interests at heart, trust goes out the door. The only true difference between manipulating someone and persuading someone is intent. The best sellers are crystal clear in their intent to serve the customer from the very beginning.

  1. They Focus on What They Can Control

A seller can only really control two elements of the job–their attitude and effort. It is inevitable that rejection and lost sales are going to happen. What’s important is how a great seller responds when things get tough. The best salespeople don’t let the fear of failure or rejection harm their effort levels. They fail fast, fail often, and use rejection as fuel towards closing their next sales opportunity.

  1. They Listen More Than They Talk

You can’t provide a valuable solution to someone without understanding his or her intrinsic needs first. In many cases, customers aren’t always willing or prepared to explain their needs on their own. Smart salespeople take a listeners mindset at the very start of a sales conversation. They ask great questions and then they sit back and listen, letting the customer explain how that salesperson can serve them best.

  1. They Become the Solution

Savvy sales pros go beyond just having the right intent. Through market research they learn about their prospect’s world by discovering, for example, what challenges the prospect’s industry peers are wrestling with. With that understanding, the best sales pros uncover hidden issues and challenge assumptions through effective questioning. By looking at challenges and opportunities differently and creatively the best sales pros open new doors. It is this insight that makes the sales process itself valuable for the prospect… and makes the savvy salesperson the solution.  


Patrick Leask
Tampa, FL
Award Winning Business Strategist and Coach.
Helping Professional Service & Project Based Businesses Accelerate Growth.
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