What separates good salespeople from great salespeople?

by Steli Efti

The difference between good salespeople and great salespeople is probably not what you think it is. Most people would say something along the lines of: great salespeople are charismatic, slick, outgoing alphas.

The reality is much more boring. The biggest difference between great salespeople and good salespeople is consistency.

The skills you need to be good at sales are learnable

You can learn to be compassionate, to be someone that understands human psychology, that cares about other people.

You can learn to ask good questions and be an active listener. You can learn to be proactive, make good phone calls, write good emails and give good presentations.

You can learn to be concise in your pitch and great at following up and following through.

Everybody can master the basics of sales and become an advanced practitioner of sales mechanics.

You can even train yourself to deal with rejection.

Are you a natural born salesperson?

It’s true that some people are born with the DNA of a salesman, and will be able to succeed in sales with less effort.

But even if you’re as unsalesy as they come, have weak people skills and aren’t comfortable in social situations—you can still master the craft of sales, and become very successful at it.

Show up every single day and perform

In sales, the score sets to zero every day. Like a great athlete, every time you step on the field, you have to perform.

Showing up at work and doing the best work you can day in and day out, sunshine, rain or snow, whether you feel like it or not … that’s what separates good salespeople from great salespeople.

Can you show up every day like it’s your first day at work?

Can you bring on every sales call as if it’s the most important conversation of your life?

Can you care as much about your hundredths sales presentation as you cared about your first?

Can you handle every negotiation as if your life depends on it?

Can you perform at the highest level every single time?

Can you still do it after you’ve been riding the waves of success and the money doesn’t really make that much of a difference anymore?

Can you still do it after a dry spell where nothing seems to work and self-doubts kick in?

Can you do it day in and day out, year after year?

It’s not about ability. It’s about choice

If you choose to consistently step up to the plate, you’ll be a great salesperson. It's as simple as that.

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