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The Critical Trait For Enduring Sales Success

April 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 169

If you have read any sales book or attended any sales training seminar during your career no matter how short or long your career, I'm sure you have learned that there are many elements, traits or skills required for sales success. Over the years I have read all the books, heard many of the well known sales trainers and had one on one sessions with a few of the world famous speakers who continually spout the importance of- closing skills, negotiation techniques, attitude control, the use of social media etc. It's unfortunate however that most of these folks don't understand or address the one major critical trait necessary for enduring sales success and that is - self-esteem.

We are who we are, we believe what we believe, we behave the way we do and we think the way we have been trained to think. In a sense each of us over the years has become nothing more than the influence that has impacted us from a variety of sources. These influences and a person's response to them have created an image of themselves that impacts every area of their life.

Self-esteem is essentially how you feel about yourself, what you believe about yourself and how you have come to integrate these attitudes into your actions, decisions and behavior.

If you have a poor self-esteem as a salesperson this mindset will prevent you from ever achieving your goals or becoming successful in this career. And why?

Self-esteem in sales impacts every element of the sales process. A person with low self-esteem will generally behave in the following ways; They will always apologize no matter who is at fault, they will be afraid to try new methods or techniques, they will never believe their time or expertise or knowledge is better or of more value than anyone else's, they will avoid confrontation, they will always let a person off the hook on their commitments regardless of how they may benefit from the use of the salesperson's product or service. There are so many more but let me elaborate a bit with the following major sales areas. Prospecting

Prospecting has two basic elements - finding good prospects that are a good match for your product or service and then further qualifying them to determine or affirm their; needs, interests, sense of urgency, decision process and major considerations. This requires effective probing skills and often demands that you ask questions that may be uncomfortable or difficult for the prospect. A person with low self-esteem will tend to avoid these types of questions therefore moving into the next phase of the sales process - presentations - with inadequate or even incorrect information that will result sooner or later in sabotaging their overall sales success with each prospect.


Presentations are nothing more than matching the aspects, advantages and benefits of a particular product or service with the prospect's needs, desires, agendas or concerns. If a salesperson feels insecure in covering these aspects because they don't understand them, believe in them or feel they will really work for the prospect this will impact what they cover and how. They will tend to take responsibility away from the prospect for the successful application or use. For example if they are selling health club memberships and the member doesn't use the system successfully they will blame themselves and subsequently integrate this mindset into their next presentation.

Handling sales resistance

Overcoming sales resistance or sales objections is a fundamental part of the sales process. There are two ways to handle this - disarm it in advance or attempt to overcome it when it surfaces. In either case a person with low self-esteem will fall short of a successful strategy.

They will avoid bringing up sensitive or potential negative areas for fear that they will not handle them with confidence or poise. If they wait for them to surface, and they need to be brought to the surface sooner or later whether the prospect brings them up or not, they will apologize, get defensive or fumble their way through their answer or response. Neither of these creates an atmosphere of confidence on the part of the prospect. And, failing to bring negative issues to the surface will again sooner or later sabotage the successful outcome of this sales situation.


Closing the sale is not an event that begins as you wind down the sales process it is an integral part of the entire process. To give lengthy presentations to a prospect you believe in the end will not buy is a waste of time and energy. Closing should begin at the beginning of the process. I'm not suggesting that asking for the order should be the first thing out of your mouth but failing to discover intent, timely interest or decision parameters early will set you up later for potential failure and disappointment. A person with low self-esteem hates confrontation and will therefore put off these types of questions early and then hope that their closing process will be enough to close the deal. Sorry, this isn't a good strategy.

After sales service

Salespeople with low or poor self-esteem don't want to hear that a customer is dissatisfied, disappointed or even upset about their purchase. They will make excuses, go into denial or even just keep apologizing until - well - forever. This isn't what the customer wants. They want it fixed and the problem solved they don't want excuses or dribble.

Tim Connor, CSP is an internationally renowned sales, management and leadership speaker, trainer and best selling author. Since 1981 he has given over 4000 presentations in 21 countries on a variety of sales, management, leadership and relationship topics. He is the best selling author of over 70 books including; Soft Sell, That’s Life, SOLD, 81 Challenges Managers Face and Your First Year In Sales. He can be reached at, 704-895-1230 or visit his websites at

Source: EzineArticles
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