The Difference Between a Salesman and a Master Salesman

The Difference Between a Salesman and a Master Salesman

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


Napoleon Hill author of the legendary Think and Grow Rich, has a rare book titled, How to Sell Your Way Through Life (1939). This is the third of a four-part series that will present the 28 Qualities the Master Salesman Must Develop. (The original language and syntax are intact.)

Your challenge is not just to read them and say “Yep, I know that.” Salespeople already know everything. The problem is they don’t DO it. To get the maximum value from this list don’t just read it. Rate yourself from 1-10 on your present level of competence or excellence for each quality. I dare you.

The nine qualities presented here are all about personal makeup and self-organization. How do you rate?

  1. A pleasing personality. The super-salesman has acquired the art of making himself agreeable to other people because he knows that the prospective buyer must buy the salesman as well as the merchandise he sells or no sale can be made.
  2. Showmanship. The super-salesman is also a super-showman! He has the ability to reach the mind of his prospective buyer by dramatizing his presentation and by giving it “color” sufficient to arouse intense interest through an appeal to the prospective buyer’s imagination.
  3. Self-control. The super-salesman has and exercises complete control over his head and his heart, at all times, knowing that if he does not control himself, he cannot control his prospective.
  4. Initiative. The super-salesman understands the value, and uses the principle of initiative. He never has to be told what to do or how to do it. Having a keen imagination, he uses it and creates plans which he translates into action, through his initiative. He needs but little supervision and, generally speaking, is given none.
  5. Tolerance. The super-salesman is open-minded and tolerant on all subjects, knowing as he does that open-mindedness is essential for growth.
  6. Accurate thinking. The super-salesman thinks! Moreover, he takes the time and goes to the trouble to gather facts as the basis of his thinking. He does no guessing when facts are available. He has no set or immovable opinions which are not based upon what he knows to be facts.
  7. Persistence. The super-salesman is never influenced by the word “no” and he does not recognize the word “impossible.” To him all things are possible of achievement. The word “no” to the super-salesman is nothing more than a signal to begin his sales presentation in earnest. He knows that all buyers take the line of least resistance by resorting to the “no” alibi. Because he has this knowledge, he is not susceptible to negative influence by sales resistance.
  8. Faith. The super-salesman has the capacity for “super-faith” in:
      1. The thing he is selling
      2. Himself
      3. His prospective buyer
      4. Closing the sale.

    Moreover, he never tries to make a sale without the aid of this faith because he knows that faith is contagious; that his faith is picked up through the “receiving station” of the prospective buyer’s mind and acted upon as if it were the prospective buyer’s own state of mind. Without the quality of faith there can be no super-salesman! Faith is a state of mind which may be described as an intensified form of self-reliance. It is said that “faith moves mountains,” but it also makes sales.

  9. Habit of observation. The super-salesman is a close observer of small details. Every word uttered by the prospective buyer, every change of facial expression, every movement is observed and its significance weighted accurately. The super-salesman not only observes and analyzes accurately all that his prospective buyer does and says, but he also makes deductions from that which he does not do or say. Nothing escapes the super-salesman’s attention!

Pretty interesting qualities. Some you may have never equated with sales mastery. My favorites are accurate thinking, showmanship and the habit of observation but the one quality that stands above the others the glue if you will is faith. Faith in your company, faith in your product, faith in others, and faith in yourself. How’s yours?