What Successful Salespeople Have In Common

Oct 22, 2018 1 Min Read


In my career, I have met, trained, and even coached so many unbelievably successful salespeople.

They had far more differences than similarities, but the one thing every one of them had in common was that they learnt the fundamentals of selling by thinking like a customer and then implemented those ideas with authenticity and just by being themselves.

Find your authentic sense of self 

John Fuqua, Maryann DeMarco, Danny Craven, Chris Free, Joanne Stenerson, and Mike Tyner were all sales superstars who worked for my company when I was vice president of sales.

Here are the five reasons I believe they were so successful by just being themselves.

  1. They were encouraged to be themselves 

They learned the fundamentals of selling from a coach who encouraged them to be themselves.

Too many sales people never reach their full potential because they work for someone who has a skewed perspective of what works in selling.

Often, it’s based on what they did to be successful, and not by having a deep knowledge of what selling excellence looks like from the opening of the call to the action task.

  1. They truly believed in their product 

These salespeople were confident in their ability to sell because they BELIEVED in the benefits of the product or service they represented.

“Selling is a transference of feeling,” Zig Ziglar used to say. And he was spot on.

When you really believe in your product, you are simply sharing what you believe by having a conversation about it.

That is as authentic and real as it gets.

  1. They trusted in the product trial 

Because these salespeople believed in the product and they wanted what was best for the customer or the customer’s customer, they had no trepidation about asking for the client or prospect to give the product a fair trial.

How authentic could they be if they believed in the product and then didn’t care enough about what they believed in to ask the person to try it or use it when appropriate.


  1. They had the right definition of ‘sales’ 

Sales equals finding out what people want and helping them get it.

These successful salespeople were not pushy, no matter how aggressive their manager might want them to be.

They would spend the appropriate time learning what was right for the customer, and if it wasn’t our product, they wouldn’t try and get the customer to use it.

They had what I call was ‘pure intent’. They weren’t trying to sell.

Their authentic self demanded that they only look for prospects or customers who could really benefit from our products, and then – and only then – would they use their persuasive expertise to show the customer that the fit was there.

5. Being themselves sets them apart 

Because of their belief in their ability to succeed at selling by being themselves, they automatically set themselves apart from all of the other sales reps, who show up and talk too much, don’t ask good questions, and DO NOT come across as authentic.

Authentic salespeople know their product or service is not for everyone, and when that absence of bias is on display in their sales conversations, their credibility is off the charts.

They build better relationships that way, and it’s far easier for them to get access and to get the customer to listen.

Success is driven by the customer buying 

Those five reasons will help anyone selling anything to really think about selling without being pushy and aggressive.

The vast majority of salespeople are not aggressive and pushy people naturally. Be yourself, learn the fundamentals, find a great coach, and watch yourself be incredible!


Jerry Acuff has been consulting and speaking extensively on the issues of sales and marketing excellence for over 30 years. To connect with Jerry, send an email to editor@leaderonomics.com.

Reposted with permission.


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This article is published by the editors of Leaderonomics.com with the consent of the guest author. 

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