Enthusiasm the X Factor

Enthusiasm is the X Factor and the first of a series of six blogs regarding what are the vital few characteristic that are typically found in world class sales professionals.

As was noted in the introductory blog there are long lists of characteristics, traits, and skills that result in behavior found in the best sales professionals. Sifting through these, I find there are six that most often appear in superior sales performers.


I was consulting with a major logistics company and the owner had a little bottle filled with green liquid on his desk. I asked him what was in the bottle and he said “Enthusiasm!”

He explained that enthusiasm was the number one characteristic he looked for in his sales professionals. He said, “You can’t kick people out of bed in the morning with a positive and energetic outlook, either they have it or they don’t!”

When I was a fledgling salesperson, I was following our sales process religiously with an existing client. I tried to answer the client’s questions about our new services and their respective benefits.

After many sales calls I was getting nowhere. I finally asked my sales manager to join me on a sales call with the client.

He was by nature enthusiastic and a positive thinker. During the call he was filled with energy, optimism and an unbridled enthusiasm. His attitude was infectious, and I could see the client hanging on his every word.

The clients said, “I’m not sure I understand everything about the new services, but you’re so enthusiastic, I’m going to buy some!”


The sales process is filled with twists and turns and certainly you need to be cognizant of checking all the relevant boxes in the process. However, absolutely nothing replaces the X factor of genuine and sincere enthusiasm.

When people come into our sphere who energize the environment, bring a smile to our face, and help a vision come alive, the reaction is almost universally positive!

Most of us are drawn to the passion, vibrant energy and feeling of confidence that they instill.

This is not to infer endorsing an over the top stereotypical “glad handing” approach of a used car sales amateur.

True heart felt enthusiasm for the here and now and life in general can’t be faked.


The selection of employees is vitally important to any enterprise and there are numerous methodologies in the marketplace. Some are very sophisticated and costly.

No matter what you use, here are a few simple tips when looking for indications of genuine enthusiasm in sales professionals.

  • Presence of an engaging smile
  • Good eye contact
  • Body language that is open
  • Posture that is poised for action
  • Walking and movements that are direct and purposeful
  • Lively feelings and interest towards others
  • Using your name in a connected conversation
  • Energy in tuned with the situation
  • Logic on fire

As you look for these ask yourself does this person make you feel good about the time you spent with them? Did your energy increase because of them? Would that level of enthusiasm wear well with your clients? Do you like the person?

It is important to note that enthusiasm is not subject to be improved by training, coaching or managing. Refining and tempering yes, but it cannot be faked!

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