The secret to being successful in sales

Being successful: What is the most important character trait

I have not been writing for a while, I have been on the road traveling between the US and Canada. Being alone on flights gives me time to think about various topics especially my next blog subjects, Sometime I write my blogs while in flight (if the idea is exciting enough and it can’t wait).

In today’s blog I thought to address the reason for success, what is the single most important character that defines and makes the sales person successful? In fact what is the single most important character trait that makes anyone successful in what they do, and it doesn’t matter what they do (personal life or professional one)

We are always at ah and envy when someone who is self-made successful story. Yes he/she didn’t get his fortune from a rich daddy or mommy. He/she worked hard for everything he/she is today and who he/she became. I heard many ask the following question: Why can’t that be me? In fact yes it can be you…don’t worry I will give you my perception of the answer…but I had to set the scene for you here in this pre-amble.

And for those who I heard many times saying: must be nice to have the bucks!!! This is in my opinion the most disgusting statement I ever heard, this is equivalent to wishing ill to someone. You say how can that be so negative? Having felt the effect of this statement many times, here is what it feels like to the recipient, you are wishing the individual to fail, to lose everything and drop to a living conditions that are equal or below to that of the person leveling the statement, this is absolute communism/defeatism which I totally dislike because I believe in individual achievements and continuous progress forward. Here is another way to express what we feel: supportive, helpful, admire, congratulate the individual on their achievement.

So what makes an individual and particularly a sales person successful?

Here it is: PASSION

Ok let’s assume we are talking about a sales person, a successful sales person needs extreme amount of passion in order for success to start to formulate. Contrary to common believes it is not a good commission plan, company, product or anything else. You absolutely need PASSION. You don’t have passion toward what you do; you should reconsider what you do.
So what is passion? Passion is that inner drive; passion that is hungry beast that lives inside you all the time, Passion is never satisfied and for ever seeking to fulfil a desire. Passion doesn’t know money, doesn’t recognize titles, jobs, or anything else that us earthlings seems to worry about in our personal and professional lives. Passion is so unstoppable that will take down the highest fortresses (Real or imaginary). Passion is so pure to a point of being indiscriminate between any being, object or idea that you are passionate about.

There are 3 types of people:

1-      People that makes things happen
2-      People that watches things happen
3-      People that says:  What the heck just happened

Don’t just do ok job, leave lasting impression
So which one of the 3 types I listed here do you think have PASSION? Obviously the people that make things happen. Why do you think these people makes things happen, why not be like the people who watches things happen or even the people that wonder “what just happened”? Some people would say it’s much less complicated to watch from the side line, to let others (the people with Passion) spend their effort while we enjoy the view of struggles, failures, successes from the comfort of our armchairs. Here is why, because when you have passion, you can’t keep it bottled in, you can’t hide this precious character. Passion has to manifest itself in good deeds, in extraordinary things to satisfy the ever hungry sole.

The Greeks didn’t write obituaries. They only asked one question after a man died: Did he have passion? Passion is our legacy; passion is the inheritance which we pass along to humans/generations after we were long gone.

I am sure you are anxious at this point to find out, what is passion in sales or business development?

Passion in sales is that never ending journey of being your customer ‘sadvocate, to carry your client’s objectives in your heart, and always in your mind. To serve your client is your passion, which this character has to manifest in everything you do. Yes Passion in sales recognizes one being only: your client why? By having passion toward serving and finding your client’s best interest (and please don’t use this as a cliché) fakes are easily detected. It is that passion that will produce the successful legacy for the sales person, the client and the company they are working with.

Let me be clear on something, Passion it is something you are born with, you cannot buy passion from the market.  Most importantly, you cannot fake passion.  For instance, some people will say, sales jobs pays well, I want to be a sales person. I wish I had a big buzzer noise here to tell you this is wrong approach, this is recipe for failure. Why? In the case where you don’t have passion, I don’t care how good of an actor you think you are, you cannot look and feel sincere to anyone not even to yourself and that’s a recipe for disaster.

If you are currently in a sales position and you don’t have passion toward what you do, please do yourself a favor and go back to engineering, being translator, writer, or whatever you were doing before. How does passion demonstrate in sales behaviour? Here are some clues to look for:

1-      Complete disregard to working hours, their day is 24×7 always on
2-      Don’t accept failure (this is different from don’t take failure well)
3-      Don’t know the word “impossible” doesn’t exist in their vocabulary
4-      Always moving forward in their personal life and business life

Always searching solutions/always on
To put this in more tactical terms: A sales person with passion doesn’t care about the comp plan. Don’t get me wrong we all need to make money to live. But a sales person with passion will compensate what the comp plan will lack. As long as you have a formula to make money, passion will take care of the rest of the void in the comp plan. The main ingredient for success is not how much the employer is paying you to perform a job, or what product you are selling, or the market you are selling to. The main ingredient for success is within us as individual is that eternal fire that continue to light us up and like insects on summer nights it keeps on pushing us toward the fire. It’s our destiny not to take the easy road, not to sit on the sideline and watch. It’s our destiny to continue moving the world forward including the ones who choose to sit on the sidelines.
I am always asked if you can train a sales person to perform better, or what is the sales process you use to guarantee success? The simple answer is not Miller Heiman sales training, Power Base, or Star etc. The answer is inside us as individuals…indeed you need to know the process but I have seen people that can recite any sales process impeccably but since they have no passion to what they do they have not been able to move the world forward.

I encourage you to recognize your passion as an individual, and I implore you to find out what makes you  feel free on top of the world sort of speak. And if you are in a place in your life whereby you are not feeling the passion and huge fire burning deep in your sole, consider change. I guess I will save the “Change” topic to another blog.

I will conclude by saying, I’d rather have lived with passion than die without having felt what passion is

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: