The Best Salesperson I Ever Met

What differentiates a good salesperson from a great one? Six Traits!


Last week, I got a call from a recruiter looking for a sales representative for a cloud company.  I get those kinds of calls all the time, but this was different because it made me think of the best sales representative I’ve ever met.

And I started to consider why she was the best.  What made her different from all the others that had traipsed into my office over the years.  Here are 6 things that set my superhero salesperson apart from the crowd:

1. Connected

Early in our relationship, my super salesperson got to know me and what was happening in my life and my work. She wasn’t nosy, but curious, about how I made decisions and what outside forces, as well as internal thoughts, directed that decision making.  She connected with me as human being, not as the obstacle that stood between her and a quota.

She always asked me about my son and husband and I always knew what fun thing her daughter and son were doing for summer vacation.  I knew when her dog of 14 years died and cried with her.  I knew to expect that Thanksgiving vacation would be spent in the Northeast, not in sunny California.  We connected on a lot of different levels.

And she didn’t let that connection drop when she changed companies, or I changed companies.  Because of that connection, she was my vendor’s representative in 3 companies for which I worked.  With one of my employers, I asked her company if I could have her as my sales representative.  They complied because they understood how connections work.

2. Honest

I never once doubted whatever my representative told me because there were too many instances where she would say, “here’s what I am being told, but I don’t think it’s right for you.” She was always honest, sometimes to her disadvantage.

And she wasn’t just honest when asked a direct question.  If she felt that there was anything that didn’t align with my corporate goals or directives, she would tell me without prompting.  She had my back.

3. Anticipatory

My super salesperson always anticipated what I might need next. Of course, sometimes the anticipated need was one that her new product could fill immediately, but she still was thinking of how the new product would work with my environment. She anticipated what I might need.

This was never more evident than when she switched jobs going to another vendor that had products for a different part of my landscape.  She immediately called to tell me that her new company could solve that problem we had been working on for months.  And she was right.

4. Respectful

Although she sold a product that I understood well, there were times when my sales rep had to explain things that were more technical. In those moments, she never spoke down to me or made me feel less because I didn’t understand.

She would take the time to make sure that I understood the nuances as well as the facts.   And if she found that she didn’t quite understand everything, she would stop the conversation, go back and get more information before she came back to me.

She was also incredibly good at thinking through the implications of her recommendations.  When new products came on the scene, she would first understand how they operated BEFORE she introduced them to me.  She was respectful enough of my time that she didn’t introduce products that no one could explain.

Next page: Numbers 5, 6 and Takeaway