The Secrets of Great Sales People

…that they don’t want to share
…even if they were conscious of what they are
…because they are their competitive advantage

We want to believe that every Sales Person aspires to greatness.  For those with the resolve to embark on or continue their path to achieve such a goal, this should help.

We can, decode ‘Great’ Sales People into 4 characteristics:

1. Sound Mindset

2. Superb Skillset

3. SMART Knowledge

4. Sound Values

And if we want to become or we want to develop greatness in sales, we must first recognise that it is the blend of all 4 characteristics as well as the makeup of each that will deliver the result, we want.

1. Sound Mindset - The Top 7

Mindset is often thought of as ‘Attitude’.  It is displayed in thought, word and deed (behaviours) and it can be developed through coaching.
The Top 7 that Execs, Sales Leaders and Buyers keep mentioning are listed below
And when we take a look at that list it becomes evident that ‘Training’ is probably a waste of time & money.
  1. Empathy
  2. Curiosity (to learn for self-development and for great discovery)
  3. Care (in Quality, Precision and Success)
  4. Accountability
  5. Self-Confidence
  6. Determination
  7. Leadership (for complex B2B selling)

The good news is that once Leaders have made clear what they deem to be the admirable Sales Mindset for the Business (and lead the way themselves) then mindset coaching can be complemented by Skillset development.

2. Superb Skillset - The 8 Great Skills

When we analyse those Great Sales people who consistently exceed quotas, have the happiest, most successful Customers and those who are admired (and secretly envied) by their peers, we see that every one of their skills are executed with method.  8 skills always come to the fore.
  1. Preparation & Research
  2. Questioning
  3. Listening combined with Note Taking
  4. Summaries through Story Telling
  5. REAL Solution creation
  6. Personalisation
  7. Negotiation
  8. Closing

That’s not to say the plethora of other skills aren’t important, of course they are.  The point is that none of them can be executed well without the great 8 being mastered first.

Can anyone be perfect?  Hell no!  But we can aspire to greatness by continually working on our skillset by learning, refreshing, refining and continually asking for critical friend feedback regards best practices, methods and techniques.  For ‘seasoned’ Sales people that’ll almost certainly work best through Personalised Development Plans and coaching vs generic training.

3. SMART Knowledge

Many still believe that knowing all about the Products and Services they sell….and explaining it all really well, will achieve great results.
It won’t.  That’s simply not professional selling

So, knowledge is a funny one.  It can actually get in the way of great selling and simply render a Sales Person a ‘Me too’ and lead to Sales Cycles getting stuck mid-way or Forecasts bouncing from month to month.

Great Sales people therefore demonstrate not necessarily deep knowledge but they do exhibit SMART Knowledge.  They:

  1. Understand Industry & Market trends relating to their Territory
  2. Have reliable Customer Success Stories that exemplify how solutions addressed risks and achieved aspirations
  3. Know enough of the Products and Services to be credible – but readily hand detail to ‘experts’ – Solution Engineers / Consultants
  4. Know where to find information when needed and how to get selling and business done using the Company’s processes and systems.
  5. Know who to go to in order to obtain the knowledge they need as and when when needed

4. Resolute Values

Most Companies take time and care to develop and publicise their values.  Great Companies ensure that everyone knows these values, understands them and lives them.

Great Sales People therefore reflect these values in every interaction both internally and externally – they’re the golden threads that work their way through every thought, word and deed.

Values are specific to each Company, of course, but they also need to be consistent with each Sales Person’s own personal value set.

For example.  If a Company genuinely wants to be admired for Customer Success, Sales People who care for nothing but their commission cheque will demonstrate ‘hit & run’ behaviours in their Customer & Prospect interactions.  They may be great in a different Company with different values, but they won’t be great for the aspirational brand.

With 35 years of learning best practices and 20 years coaching salespeople, I can help you get started.
Just 30 minutes on a call
And there’s no fee.


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