One of the most defining traits of successful salespeople


If you’re here, you probably want to improve your sales results and are taking the first step by reading this post. It demonstrates that you’re dedicated to improving yourself through the pursuit of knowledge. That’s a positive development.

Are you prepared to make the kind of unwavering commitment to success in sales that will earn you a place among the elite?

And it’s likely that you already know who these A-listers are. They’re the ones who consistently rank first or second on the monthly sales production list, who take first place in sales competitions, and who radiate positivity at all times. They have a can-do attitude and believe they will succeed no matter what challenges they face, whether with leads, the economy, or the company itself.

A sales motivator told me years ago that if you’re willing to put in the effort that other salespeople won’t, you’ll quickly be able to achieve success and satisfaction that other salespeople will never experience.

When I heard that, I was a salesperson having difficulty making ends meet. At that juncture in my professional life, I had to decide: either locate a new source of income or go back to school to change careers.

I decided to give 110% toward becoming a top performer. If the grass seems greener on the other side, another motivator advised, fertilize your yard. He argued that one can thrive without moving away from their current environment.

And there were many instances like that at the firm where I worked. There were a total of 25 sales representatives. While the vast majority of them were inconsistently successful (what I like to call the 80% of any sales team), the top producers routinely ranked first. They were the ones that got the most commission, bought the most expensive automobiles, and took the most exciting vacations.

The top performers also had a knack for making everything appear simple. They never seemed to have any problems, always knowing what to do. It was both exciting and terrifying. It wasn’t until I decided to join their ranks that I realized how much dedication and hard work went into being the best.

I went from being a low-performing sales rep to the top performer in my company’s sales division in just 90 days because of my dedication and hard work. Nine months later, because of my established routines, I was the top salesperson in a network of five offices.

The same is true for you. The good news is that those prepared to put in the time, energy, and resources often find themselves on the same path as those who have achieved tremendous success. You may thrive where you’re placed and begin to experience the rewards that top salespeople take for granted but that are out of reach for most salespeople.

If you change one thing about yourself, I promise you that you will achieve whatever you want and more.

The most distinguishing feature of high-performing salespeople is a dedication to going the extra mile.

Let me tell you a tale to demonstrate my point. I was asked to deliver the keynote address at an event attended by just over a hundred salespeople earlier this year. I always try to get a phone interview with one of their top producers before giving a talk of this type. I contacted their top sales rep, a Canadian woman who had been with the company for all 15 months.

What was interesting about this sales rep was that she wasn’t originally from the sales business at all, yet she quickly rose to the position of top sales rep for the entire United States and Canada. You can imagine how eager I was to get a chance to talk to her.

What I learned was consistent with my experience with highly effective people. She made it her first priority at the company to study and implement the most effective sales qualification and closing methods, and she has since worked harder than anybody else there.

When I asked her how long she spent in the office, she said it was usually between ten and twelve hours. When I inquired how her family was doing, she explained that they mostly spent the weekends together.

She told me that she makes around one hundred cold calls per day. About $25,000 was the typical salary for a sales representative there. When I questioned how she managed to do it all, she told me that she started early and made calls while waiting for appointments in the field, after meetings, and even in the evening when most people had left the office.

She informed me she made her pitch on the initial appointment call, promised to show the prospect precisely what she described, and then asked for a yes or no after the presentation when we discussed the finer points of the sale and how she qualified. During the final moments of the appointment call, she said, “Will you be able to decide at that time?”

Once on-site, she used tried-and-true scripted (memorized, delivered naturally) closes that brought in the bulk of sales by politely reminding the prospect that he or she agreed to commit at that moment, yes or no.

If the potential client were hesitating, she would give them till the end of the day (or the next morning if the appointment was in the evening) to make up their minds before calling back to get a yes or no. With a negative response, she decided to move on.

What this top salesperson did (and does) to stay at the top of her game is “what most salespeople are not willing to do,” according to an analysis of her methods. To begin, she has vowed to outperform every other salesperson in the firm in terms of both effort and efficiency. She starts her sales calls when most of her colleagues are sipping coffee. She keeps calling customers even as her colleagues probably rearrange their leads or plan their lunch breaks.

Unlike other salespeople, she doesn’t bother with preliminary qualifications and shows up at the meeting wanting to close a deal. She immediately begins closing when she encounters an objection, whereas most salespeople would stop at that point.

As a result of her drive to excel, she makes more sales than any other sales representative in the firm (again, out of 100+ sales representatives). Because of this, she can earn 1.5 times as much as the median sales rep and three times as much as the lowest-performing third of salespeople.

During the annual sales conference I attended, the corporation handed out trophies, bonus cheques, and paid vacations for employees’ families. All of these positive reinforcements were given to this top performer. The other nine top producers also received honors for their efforts. And the other ninety salespeople? After three days of the conference, they returned to their jobs with more expectations and stress.

In any field or occupation, success comes down to a dedication to putting in the hours necessary to excel. They are prepared to put in the extra time and effort after practice, to study film and the playbook, and to do whatever else is necessary to achieve their goals. Top athletes like Michael Jordan, Peyton Manning, Tiger Woods, etc., along with top concert musicians, professional dancers, and pretty much any other professional, share this common trait.

There is a saying that goes something like, “The extra mile is never crowded.”

If you can master this one trait, you will be able to experience and appreciate life in ways that the vast majority of salespeople would never even dream of.

If you enjoyed this piece, you’d appreciate Mike’s updated and revised eBook, “The Complete Book of Phone Scripts.” There are now more than 130 pages of scripts to assist you in getting past the gatekeeper, scheduling appointments, countering objections, and completing more deals.

Find out why Jeffrey Gitomer, Brian Tracy, Tom Hopkins, and many others suggest Mike’s eBook of Phone Scripts by visiting

Do you have a weak inside sales force? Get in touch with Mike to discuss how he can assist you in achieving your organization’s sales targets. Check out Mike’s website to find out more about him:

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