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Let’s face it, any of us can come up with lists of characteristics which are synonymous with great sales people, sometimes it’s 5-6 characteristics, often more, and sometimes the lists just go on and on….. 

In my professional opinion, the key differentiations between the great and the not so great can be summed up in 3 characteristics:

1. Goal focused curiosity and a problem solving mind set

2. Wholehearted interest in helping people achieve their goals and aspirations

3. Willingness and ability to embrace change and to get those they work with to embrace the same changes and run with them


What do I mean?

1. Goal focused curiosity and a problem solving mind set

Every great sales professional I have come to know is forever curious.  They want to learn as much about their products and solutions as they can, they want to master them, so they can present them to their customers to their fullest extent.  They are curious about their customers’ businesses and their customers as individuals.  They study their businesses, their customers’ customers, their customers’ markets and competition.  Their curiosity is not random, it’s very focused.  The best sales people know how they can help their customers.  Their curiosity is purposeful; it’s focused on trying to find problems and opportunities their customers have which the sales person can do something about.  Great sales people don’t go on random fishing expeditions; they don’t aimlessly cold call on mass. Instead every call is carefully researched and planned. They don’t waste their customers’ or their own time.  They don’t fool themselves with wishful thinking, but focus pragmatically… Does the customer have a problem I can solve?  Can I present an opportunity that would accelerate the ability of my customer to achieve their goals? In the end, they are about results.  The greatest sales people are also curious about their profession.  They are constantly reading, attending workshops and seminars, talking to others they respect.  They know that in order to stay at the top of the profession, to be a top performer, is to learn and develop and that the bar is constantly being raised.


2.  A genuine interest in helping people achieve their goals and dreams

Top performers care about their own performance, but they know the only way they achieve their goals is through helping their customers to achieve theirs, whether it is the overall business goals, their function’s department’s goals, or their own personal goals.  Top performers experience sincere joy through witnessing their customer being successful in implementing the solutions they have sold them.  Top sales people never “hit and run,” if things aren’t working, they don’t ignore the customer, they go back in and do everything they can to correct things.  Sometimes they can’t correct things, but the customer knows it isn’t for the lack of trying.  Top sales people care!


3.  An ability to embrace changes and to get the people they work with to embrace and own change

The greatest sales people in the world know that sales is at the core about change.  We ask customers to change suppliers/vendors, to select a different product than they have been using.  We ask people to change their processes, the way they do business, to explore new ways of growing and being productive.  We ask customers to embrace a new vision for their organizations, to consider new ways to improve or grow.  The best also realize they are asking their own organizations and the people in their organizations to change, ref; how we hold and value customers, how to create the best experiences, how to retain and grow our customers, what new products and solutions might we provide to enhance our relationships and grow our business.   Top sales people realize that people may fear or not understand change.  They realize their role is to help people understand it, to own it, to take it on as their own mission and goal.  The best in sales realized they are change managers and that they must create the same vision and excitement for change with their customers and within their own companies, that they envision.

There are a lot more characteristics for good sales performance.  But I think these three set the best sales people in the world apart from everyone else.  Do you agree?  If you had only 3 characteristics to choose, which would you select?

Author: Sales Accelerant – Head of Sales

If your company requires sales support, delivered by great sales people with the characteristics synonymous with great sales people, as referred to above, then you should call us now to discuss your vision, goals, objectives and any challenges. At Sales Accelerant we can provide outsource sales support on both small and grand scales, from one day a week to five. We specialise in B2B telemarketing, B2B sales lead generation, B2B appointment setting and sales consultancy.


For more information contact us on: (0845) 3058145 or email us.