Are you the type of salesperson people hope you’ll be?

Are you the type of salesperson people hope you’ll be?

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

Are you the type of salesperson people hope you’ll be?

Are you the type of salesperson people want to buy from? There’s an easy way to answer that question. How many of your phone calls go unreturned?

Last week, I “typed” a group of less than stellar salespeople. The bad ones, and the ugly ones. This week it’s the near-good, the good, and the great. Take a look at these characters and their characteristics. Then take a look in the mirror.

As you read these characteristics, I’m certain you’ll find a few to identify with. Be careful. It’s not just a matter of having good sales characteristics, it’s a matter of mastering them. You can’t just say, “Yeah, that’s me.” Rather you say, “How good am I at them?” That’s the real test of who you are, and what your skill level is.

NOTE: You may possess characteristics of several characters.

Here are the characters and characteristics of good and great salespeople. (If you missed last week’s article, it’s posted on

Building a foundation for short-term success, and long-term wealth,

Mr. Relationship understands that sometimes you have to sacrifice short-term gains in order to build for the future. He doesn’t focus on quota. He focuses on “best.” Every sales manager wants this salesperson on his or her team. With Mr. Relationship, there’s always fewer complaints from customers, and more reorders.

Mr. Humble (an endangered species of the salesperson) gets the job done, sticks at it till he wins, customers love him, he loves to serve, he gets the order, makes a fat commission, brags to no one, and is grateful for his job. Cut his veins — he bleeds the company’s colors — but always has the customer’s best interest at heart.

You don’t have to wonder if Mr. I’m Successful is successful or not. He’ll tell you himself. He’ll tell you by the clothes he wears. He’ll tell you by the car he drives. He’ll tell you by the names he drops, and the vacations he takes. Yes, there has to be some achievement behind the process. But you have to ask yourself, “At what price?” He would be a much more successful guy if he would Vulcan mind-meld with Mr. Humble.

In order to become successful, in order to build relationships, in order to become a superstar, there has to be a foundation of consistency. Ms. Consistent can morph into any one of those. Customers love consistency, because they know they can rely on and depend on the salesperson to meet or exceed their needs. I believe consistency to be one of the best qualities a successful salesperson can possess. And that consistency can be learned — you just have to practice everyday.

Ms. Hustle doesn’t have all the skill in the world. But she loves to serve, returns phone calls in an instant, is the master of new technology, and customers love the woman because she gets the job done fast. Ms. Hustle is loyal to company and customers alike. She doesn’t sell by the book, but she always sells by the rules.

Better than Mr. Successful, Mr. Superstar has managed to build relationships over an extended period of time and derives incredible income from having fun with customers. A round of golf, a sporting event, a nice dinner. Mr. Superstar will get a call from a customer telling him that a competitor has come in the door and was promptly asked to leave. Mr. Superstar is both a consultant and a trusted advisor. He has established relationships and has gone beyond his own success to help customers build their business — so he can earn more of his. You may not like every characteristic of Mr. Superstar, and he has a bit of an ego — but it’s because he’s doing things the right way. I’ll throw this challenge at you: If you feel Mr. Superstar is a bit arrogant, you may be confusing his arrogance with his self-confidence. And, you may be confusing his ego — with your envy.

Mr. Gitomer. I don’t claim to be a perfect salesperson. I do claim to be the best salesperson I know. I tend to take a higher risk-oriented position when it comes to making a sale or creating a buying atmosphere. Does it work all the time? Grab a handful of reality, Sparky. Nothing works all the time. But mine does work most of the time. And there’s an added bonus. I’m having a blast at it. I’m doing what I love. And I’m earning a good living helping customers and helping salespeople. I look forward to helping you.

Great salespeople are not born or made. They evolve over time based on their dedication to excellence and their willingness to serve.

If you’d like a list of the characteristics of a GREAT salesperson, go to, register if you’re a first time visitor, and enter the words SALES GREATNESS in the GitBit box.

Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, and The Little Red Book of Selling. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts internet training programs on selling and customer service at He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to

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permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer 704/333-1112