Over the years, I have worked with numerous top salespeople in the Vector Marketing / Cutco sales organization. I personally trained Jon Berghoff, the guy who revolutionized the company’s personal sales opportunity by elevating the standards for top sales reps across the Nation. I’ve developed 5 reps who have won a National Champion’s Silver Cup for annual performance, and I’ve also had at least 3 people who became the company’s #1 All-American for college-student sales reps. In addition, I have networked with and learned from top salespeople in multiple other industries. One of my sales pupils has now become one of the top-producing residential realtors in the nation, and another was named “Rookie-of-the-Year” in her large national sales organization.

In this post, I share some of the common characteristics I have noticed in great salespeople, regardless of the industry.


Long-term (annual or semi-annual) objectives provide them with motivation, and short-term (daily & weekly) targets provide accountability and regular feedback. What are your goals for this year? Do you have those broken down into shorter-term targets that can help keep you on track?

2. They create GREAT RAPPORT with people.

The best reps are great at connecting with people quickly, building credibility and trust, and creating a comfortable interaction. In other blog posts here, you’ll learn some proven techniques for connecting with others.


They craft what they say, so as to be concise yet effective, and they present with a level of confidence that is congruent with their words. If sales is your career, you must take it seriously. Take the time to develop the right words to say, and practice delivering them with confidence.

4. They have mastered the ABILITY TO CLOSE the sale.

They understand consumer psychology (tendency to avoid making decisions and take the path of least resistance), they know how to dissect customer objections, and their closing skills are founded in a healthy level of conviction in what they are trying to get people to do or buy. Remember, we don’t get paid anything for the sales that we almost make. Closing the sale is about learning to help the customer make a positive decision to move forward comfortably. It’s an art that you can master.

5. They continually STUDY, PRACTICE, and IMPROVE.

They regularly attend sales meetings, study good material outside the office, and role play or practice with their managers and/or peers. Many people say they have the will to succeed. This requires having the will to PREPARE.

6. They TAKE ACTION on what they know they are supposed to do.

They power through phone sessions or prospecting efforts quickly without much hesitation, and they work their plan weekly. Rejection or adversity doesn’t slow them down for long, if at all. They simply DO MORE than others do.

7. Last, they have mastered the skill that is known as “A POSITIVE ATTITUDE.”

They expect to succeed, they look for the best in every situation, they handle adversity without carrying it forward, and they never stop focusing on what they want to have happen. So much of our success is mental, and great salespeople master the mental game.

I have taught these skills to thousands of salespeople over the years. If you visit this page from time to time, you’ll see new lessons posted that will help you to develop the qualities of champions in all walks of life.

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