I worked for him several years ago in the formative years of my sales career. While traveling by car from Jacksonville, Florida to Orlando, Florida, my boss, the Vice President of Sales for a major fossil fuels company, asked me point blank if I knew why he was the world’s greatest salesperson.
I didn’t know why and asked him to tell me. Without hesitation he said that he had been born with the “gift of gab” and that fact alone qualified him to be the best. John was a “good old boy” from West Virginia, and had many close relationships, but outside of his network, he was ineffective, even with his special gift. The years have dimmed my memory, but I can’t remember anything he did that was great, except for the smile he put on my face as we traveled together those many years ago.
The greatest salesperson in the world has the knowledge of sales principles, with the wisdom to know when to apply them, and the experience to know how. The greatest salesperson in the world is a “doer” not a talker. He will never toot his own horn or imply that he is better than someone else. He is quietly confident in both words and deeds. You will know he is the greatest when you see him in action. You’ll be in awe when you discover who he is. You would never suspect him to be the greatest, but in your discovery, you are not really surprised. The greatest salesperson quietly and unassumingly goes about doing those things that other salespeople are unwilling to do.
During my sales career I have met and worked with many salespeople I would consider the greatest. There was an interesting point of discovery with each of these great salespeople. None of them knew they were the greatest, and without exception, none of them ever told me they were the greatest. They actively went about their work and pursued their career exemplifying certain qualifying characteristics that set them apart from the crowded ranks of salespeople. Here are the five universal characteristics exemplified by all of the great salespeople I have ever known:
1) They recognized they didn’t know it all and were humble enough to learn.
2) They were hungry enough to want more for themselves and their employers.
3) They cared enough about their prospects to discover the truth.
4) They were honest enough to do what was right in all situations.
5) They were bold enough to take action when others would not.
Ask yourself this question: “Are you willing to do enough to become the greatest salesperson in the world?"