Habits Of Successful Salespeople

Updated: Jul 30

By HOWARD E. SHARFMAN Originally Published in AdvisorNews


I’ve collected what I call “habits of successful salespeople” over the course of my career. I observe pure salespeople: lawyers, accountants, financial advisors and even doctors who have created a big book of clients and excelled in areas where others didn’t. Cross-industry observations challenge me to strive toward success as a moving target. Below are some characteristics I have gathered throughout my career.

Great producers:

  • Have grit like no one else. It is their number one quality.

  • Run marathons, not sprints.

  • Thrive on new activity, not old.

  • Quickly move away from lost causes and focus on developing opportunities.

  • Go beyond product to provide their clients with value, integrity and trust.

  • Enjoy what they do.

  • Are on a mission.

  • Are disciplined and gain an advantage by asking all relevant questions before they present.

  • Start early, every day.

  • Are advising.

  • Return their most important calls quickly.

  • Know their product, their competition and their market, inside and out.

  • Know what others don’t or they will take the time to find out.

  • Don’t discover clients; they create them.

  • Fish in stocked ponds, not open oceans.

  • Conduct a formal client needs assessment before making product recommendations.

  • Are known within the industry and their community.

  • Aren’t consumed by what’s on their desk; they are consumed by what isn’t.

  • Are irreverent; they often say no, but rarely hear no.

  • Play hurt and still find success.

  • Have bad moments, not bad days.

The traits you use to define success are directly related to how you can excel in this business. Continue to embody the ideas above and add to your list, just as I have throughout my career. Observe your mentors and other professionals across industries to round out your qualities and strive toward success.

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