Sales Professional

What Makes a Great Sales Professional by Dave Neal

I’m currently locked in my home office under strict quarantine. As I stare longingly through the French doors at the rest of our house, my wife of 51 years dangles the key and says, “Seven more days honey those are the rules!”

Fortunately, I have access to a bathroom, beef jerky, some apples and my library of sales related material and of course, the internet.

Thus, with nothing but time on my hands I decided to explore one of my favorite subjects, what makes a great sales professional?

A cursory review produced a veritable cornucopia of experts espousing the right stuff, secret sauce, and absolutes contained in their books, articles, videos etc., ranging from a low of 7 to a high of 30, skills, traits, characteristic and tendencies.

Here is a sample:

  • Closer
  • Communicator
  • Organized
  • Focused
  • Mindset
  • Urgency
  • Knowledge
  • Computer
  • Responsible
  • Innovative
  • Analytical
  • Education
  • Personality

After 40 years in sales and a stint in the mental health profession, I thought yes indeed, all these skills, traits, characteristic and tendencies (30 +) are desirable.

We would like every sales professional to walk on water!

But what are the vital few versus the trivial many?

That question led to some serious introspection and review of my experiences assessing, hiring, training, and managing B to B sales professionals.

Just as a side note, I believe salespeople are the life blood of any business and nothing happens until they sell something. I have the highest regard for them and the day to day efforts they put forth.

I landed firmly on 6 behaviors that have been present in the top sales professionals I have had the honor to be associated with.

  • Enthusiasm
  • Work Ethic
  • Passion for Selling
  • Genuine Empathy
  • Competitive
  • Integrity

I will explore each of these in a series of six blogs covering examples and most importantly how do you vet a candidate to help you select the very best sales professionals for your business.

A peek under the tent is none of these 6 are trainable. They are mostly behaviors that come with the person as part of their developmental years.

I’m not inferring that people can’t learn skills, product knowledge, computer tools, time management, closing techniques, analytics etc. but all the training and coaching in the world can’t significantly change the vital few six!

The first blog will focus on Enthusiasm the powerful x factor.

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