May 12, 2021

12 Habits That Separate Outstanding Sales People From Mediocre Ones

What separates sales people who are mediocre from those that are outstanding? Is it the sales numbers they generate or their ability to close deals? While these factors can be part of what makes a salesperson great, there are other habits that have been identified as being critical for success.

Why are some sales people just naturally better than others? What is their secret?

There are no rules when it comes to being a top-class salesman - different personalities work best in different situations - but there are two helpful principles which all great sales representatives have in common.

  • The first is desire - they are driven by their own motivation to be successful, while the rest of us often wait for other people to motivate us. 

Great sales reps take responsibility for their success and personal development - if you want something badly enough then nothing will stop you from getting it.

  • The second principle is that all good salespeople are good students of human nature - they are keen observers of others' behaviour. 

They know what makes people tick, how to get them interested in something, when to push and when to hold back, so that they eventually reach their objective. So let's look at each one of these principles in more detail…

What are The Habits of Highly Successful Sales people?

What sets them apart from the rest of the pack, and makes them outsell their competitors by wide margins? Is it something specific to how they spend their time every day? What about where they live or what kind of car they drive?

None of those things … not one. While there are plenty of unproductive sales people who might fit that description, it turns out there's actually no direct correlation between income level and any particular lifestyle choice.

Successful sales people  know better than anyone else that success comes down to developing new skills and productive habits, then sticking with them over the long haul. And if you're willing to put in the work over time, your results will match your efforts.

Here's a look at some of the habits that successful sales representatives have in common.

1. They know their numbers- Successful sales people are always keeping track of their numbers, and they do it every day. They understand how much is enough to meet their monthly quota, and when they need to increase efforts to make up for a slow month or bad quarter.

2. They don't take "no" personally- As hard as you might try not to let anything stop you from being successful with your customers, it's inevitable that some people just won't be interested in what you're selling -- no matter how great your product is . 

That's why top sales representatives have learned not to take any kind of rejection personally. They know that no matter what they do, not everyone will want to buy their product, so it's pointless to get upset over the few people who don't.

3. They take action- Whether you're sending out emails or meeting with potential buyers in person, taking action is crucial to your success. 

You can have all the best intentions in the world, but if you aren't doing anything tangible to move your business forward every day, you're only hurting yourself in the long run.

4. They're proactive- Successful sales representatives identify problems and opportunities for improvement before they become issues that derail them from reaching their goals. 

If something isn't working well enough or someone isn't buying your products fast enough, sales representatives who achieve great results don't sit around waiting for someone to come along and fix things. 

They do it themselves, because they know that's the best way to manage their business effectively.

5. They diversify- Instead of putting all your effort into just one or two customers or clients, successful sales representatives understand that spreading out their efforts will give them a better chance at success -- even when times get tough. 

When they have a slow day in sales, they aren't afraid to jump on social media, start making phone calls, join networking groups, volunteer with local organizations or try something else entirely new to drum up some business.

6. They keep learning- Successful people never stop learning -- whether it's about a new product they can sell to customers, a piece of software that will make them more productive or a strategy for reaching out to past customers. 

They know it's impossible to predict what information might be the key to helping them achieve their goals, so they're always looking for ways to improve and expand their knowledge base.

7. They exercise- It might sound like an unusual habit for people in sales, but exercise is critical because it releases endorphins into your system, which makes you feel good and boosts energy levels throughout the day. 

It's also crucial for releasing pent-up frustration and anxiety -- two things that successful sales representatives never allow themselves to become overwhelmed by no matter how tough things get at work or home.

8. They manage their time effectively- Successful sales representatives are always looking for ways to make the most of their time, both at work and outside of it. 

That means they're always on top of things like giving customers quick responses, delegating unessential tasks to colleagues, organizing information in a way that's easy to access and taking care of personal responsibilities with as little fuss as possible so nothing interferes with doing their job well.

9. They network- It's impossible to predict when someone you know might turn into a loyal customer or even refer business your way, so successful sales representatives spend plenty of time networking and building relationships with everyone from friends and neighbors to people they meet at conferences and conventions. 

Even if most of those connections don't turn into sales, one or two of them might -- and that's worth the effort.

10. All great sales representatives are highly motivated- Motivation comes from within. It's a sign of self-belief and confidence and it generates enthusiasm and energy, so that you can sell yourself and your product with real conviction. 

But don't let this fool you into thinking that motivation is an easy option - it isn't. You have to keep pushing forward to reach your goal no matter how many setbacks you face along the way. 

11. All great sales representatives are keen observers of human nature- They know what is really required to make a sale so they fine-tune their approach to suit each person they meet. 

They respect the customer's needs and work with him or her rather than try to push their own ideas onto them. So to be really successful you have to become a keen observer of human nature. 

You need to watch and listen carefully: what makes the buyer tick? What do they like and dislike? What are their habits and routines? How can you adapt your own personality so that it meshes with the customer's personality?

12. They are always looking for new opportunities- Knowledge is power and they never stop learning new things about people and how they behave, because this makes them better equipped to spot new opportunities. 

I think one of their most amazing qualities is their determination to keep improving themselves; if there was some magic formula which enabled you to make every sale immediately you would still be looking for ways of getting ahead. 

Remember: success doesn't come on a plate - you have to reach for it!

How can you be a Great Sales Representative?

Being an effective sales representative is one of the biggest challenges you will ever face. Sure, your job may be enjoyable and rewarding, but it can also be stressful.

You are paid to talk to people about products or services that they may not want or need. The trick is learning how to make potential customers think that they do want these items -- at least enough to buy them!

If you've been working as a sales rep for awhile now, it's likely that you know some tricks of the trade already. But there are always new things to learn and other ways to improve your game.

The goal here is improvement, not perfection. No one likes to be sold all the time; the ideal relationship between customer and seller is more like friendship than anything else.

So to improve your skills, just ask yourself this question: how can I be friendlier and more helpful? The answer might surprise you.

Here are ten ways to become an even better sales rep.:

1) Ask good questions- You certainly want to know what the customer wants so that you can sell them something they truly need. 

But don't go overboard -- no one likes a pest! Instead of trying to prove you're smarter than the other person by asking too many questions, concentrate on maintaining a friendly relationship instead. If you let them talk first, they'll probably volunteer some information anyway!

2) Really listen- Listening is one of the most important parts of any conversation; if one or both parties isn't paying attention, the chances of understanding and agreement go down significantly. Of course, it's also a difficult skill to master because we all like talking about ourselves!

But you've got to try; ask questions that lead them into telling their story until they reach that point of emotional pain or frustration-- then shove your product (gently!) in front of their noses and ask if there's anything you can do to help.

3) Be honest- People can tell when you're lying; no one likes an oily salesman who talks out both sides of his mouth at once! You may get away with fooling consumers some of the time, but eventually they'll wise up to your tactics -- and won't be buying from you anymore.

4) Stay in touch- Selling is a long-term job, not something that you get done once the customer has purchased what they want. 

Keep in contact with your customers so that they continue to think of you when they need more products or services. You don't have to call them every day or week; just send out an email occasionally to remind them about your company.

5) Don't be too pushy- Remember what we said earlier about honesty? Think about it again now -- putting pressure on people is no way to gain trust! If someone says "no", then accept that answer and move on. 

It's their choice, after all, and if they change their mind later, there's nothing you can do anyway.

6) Embrace technology- The right technological tools can make your job easier -- and more fun! If you aren't familiar with social media or other online resources, then take some time to learn all about them. 

Even better, look into the possibilities of web conferencing, automated calling systems, pc cameras, etc.-- there are tons of resources out there that can help you to be both effective and efficient.

7) Keep thinking positive- Positivity is contagious! If you speak in a negative manner about anything related to your company or profession-- including coworkers-- people will pick up on it quickly. 

They may even associate it with what they have just bought from you. Stay upbeat about everything so that customers see how much you enjoy your work.

8) Stay curious- It's okay to ask questions when you don't know the answer; people love talking about themselves, so if you're interested in them, they'll be interested in you! 

Try asking what their favorite movies are, what kinds of music they like listening to, etc. You can even find out where they shop or which types of magazines they read -- just keep it light and fun instead of getting into deep personal details.

9) Never complain- OK-- maybe once in a while if something is really bothering you, but try not to make a habit of it! Again, no one likes negativity; the customer is already thinking about everything that might go wrong with your company or product before he decides whether or not to buy.

Instead of talking about yourself, try asking questions that will make the customer talk instead -- they'll enjoy answering, and may even forget who's doing the interviewing!

10) Don't be afraid to ask for help- Your manager is there to support you; if you're having difficulty with a certain client or product, don't be afraid to seek out an answer. 

Your staff members are usually happy to assist (after all, good customer service means happier customers!), so take advantage of this knowledge-sharing before it becomes too complicated or time-consuming on your own!


For the most part, we're all guilty of feeling a little cynical about those who deal in business transactions for a living. The stereotype is that these individuals are unscrupulous and ruthless. 

They'll pull every trick in the book to get their way because after all, isn't this how "sales people" behave? Oh wait...that's not actually true! Sales is an art form and requires practice just like any other discipline. It takes knowledge and skill which can only come from experience.

For example: if they say no while negotiating with you, does that mean you should give up? No. It means he's testing your resolve to see how much further you're willing to push it. 

If the answer is yes , then move on until one of you is satisfied with an outcome or open to renegotiating terms.

Is it hard to be good at sales ? The only person who can say for sure is someone who has never tried before...and even they would have a tough time being honest about their abilities if put under pressure!

If you're curious, the best thing to do is just try it out. Selling isn't for everyone but if your heart's set on giving it a go then I’d recommend working on honing one of these important skills first:

A sales representative needs good people skills . It would be hard not to mention that people skills are an absolute necessity when selling anything because no matter how great your product or service is, if someone doesn't want it then there really isn't much more to say about what happens next! 

a sales representative needs to be willing and able to adapt. Just because the strategy worked once doesn't mean it'll work again! There are so many variables in play that even though something seems like a sure-fire solution at first, chances are good that there's an alternate method which will yield the same results with less effort expended. 

This requires creativity but also flexibility so if your tried-and-true tactics don't seem to be working then maybe you should take another approach rather than getting flustered by frustration or doubt!

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Himangi Lohar

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