What separates great from average, and what do you need to do if you want to step up your sales game?

Here is what I’ve found in having worked with thousands of salespeople over my 15 years of sales consulting — and before that, nearly 20 years of sales with 3 Fortune 500 companies:

1. Great salespeople set goalsBut unlike average salespeople who also set goals, great salespeople are continually measuring their performance and looking for ways to achieve their goals.

2.  Great salespeople don’t settle for averageThey are continually looking to not just make a number, but also to blow past the number.  At the end of a year, they don’t shut down because a number is in the bank. They keep going.

3.  Great salespeople know their job is to help those around them succeedAverage salespeople are all about making sure they win.   To the great salesperson, winning is what it’s all about, but only if others win with them.

4.  Great salespeople understand what service is all aboutThey know what matters is not how they measure service, but how their customers measure it.

5.  Great salespeople like to hear the word “no” from a customer. This tells them they need to change, and they listen and learn from what the customer shares.  In fact, great salespeople love to hear rejection early on in a sales call, because they know the most valuable asset they have is their own time.

Click on above image for a free infographic on signs of sales leadership!

Click on above image for a free infographic on signs of sales leadership!

6.  Great salespeople value time and never end a day without knowing what they’re going to accomplish the next day. It’s the same way they approach each week, month, quarter and year.

7.  Great salespeople are optimists not just while they’re on the job, but also in everything they doThey’re the people others gravitate toward in all types of situations, and as a result, they understand the importance of leadership.

8.  Great salespeople know they have to be continually evolving their sales process. They understand what worked for them last year may not work this year, and as a result, they are continually looking to refine their process.

9.  Great salespeople own the process. They don’t pass blame and they don’t allow excuses to come up as to why they weren’t able to accomplish something.   The last thing a great salesperson will do is throw somebody under the bus to make themselves look good.  To them, sales is truly a team activity.

10.  Great salespeople don’t stop at the end of the day To them the end of the day is that point in time where average salespeople call it a day.  Great salespeople understand how success is being available 24/7.  To them 24/7 is not a hassle because they truly love what they do and they love even more the ability to help their customers.

11.  Great salespeople live by a code of ethics and standards, not just when things are going well, but more importantly, when things aren’t going well To them the measure of a person is how they handle things when mistakes are made, problems arise and chaos abounds.  To them this is the time where they get to separate themselves from everyone else.

12.  Great salespeople are proud of what they do. They love sales not in an arrogant manner, but in a respectful manner. It’s this same manner they approach every person with whom they come in contact.  The pride and love they have is seen in the level of confidence they have, regardless of the type of situation.

13. Great salespeople don’t rely upon a canned presentation For that matter, they don’t like presentations, because they know to truly understand the needs of the customer, they have to listen. That means having a discussion with the customer.

14.  Finally, great salespeople know success is not what they did yesterday, but success is what they will do today.  They live in the now and, at the same time, are always mindful about tomorrow.

Yes, there is a difference between greatness and merely being average.  What is awesome to me about this list is each item is not something a person is born with, but rather these are skills and traits that anyone can learn.

Are you average or great?  The decision is yours.


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