How we are ‘Being’: Gaining Access to Sales Success

Over 24 years, I’ve had the privilege of meeting and observing thousands of effective salespeople. Many times when we try to figure out why some salespeople are more successful than others, we quickly look to the techniques they use, the actions they take, or the skills they have mastered and use.

In addition to techniques and actions, sales experts often focus on the following success factors:

  • Drive and Ambition – (Motivation, Desire, Goal Level, Commitment, etc.)
  • Selling Skills or Competencies – (Prospecting, Discovery, Qualifying, Presenting, Closing, etc.)
  • Personality Traits – (Dominance, Assertiveness, Warmth, etc.)
  • Problem Solving Ability – (Creativity, Flexibility, etc.)
  • Time Management Skills – (Organization, Prioritizing, Focus, etc.)
  • Fears or Beliefs Inhibiting Sales Execution (Sales Reluctance®, Fear of Rejection, Need for Approval, etc.)

There are many factors that lead to becoming a successful and effective salesperson. One that often gets overlooked is how the salesperson is ‘being’ when interacting with others.

Here are a few ‘Ways of Being’ that I have observed to be helpful when conducting sales with a higher level of professionalism and customer focus:

  • Being naturally curious. Salespeople who operate like detectives uncover more critical information and background. If we never assume anything, but instead ask questions, we will be much better off when selling.
  • Being authentically interested in the prospective customer and their business.
  • Being genuinely committed to the prospective customer to achieve their desired outcomes and goals. Measuring outcomes is a way this can be observed.
  • Being a facilitator of exploration, exchange of information, trust, openness and honest, frank communication.
  • Being reliable to keep our word and to honor our word when we cannot keep it by re-negotiating the original commitment.
  • Being thoughtful of and responsive to those we work with – internal customers (your own support staff) and external customers as well as vendors, suppliers, and cross-functional partners.
  • Being ‘customer focused’ in all that we do.
  • Being courageous to have the difficult conversations, bring up tough topics and ask the questions no one else is asking.
  • Being upbeat, energetic, and optimistic helps to open possibilities.
  • Being patient in order to learn all of the important background and the full context of the current situation is essential. Hurrying to get to an immediate transaction may miss critical information or skip necessary steps.
  • Being steady with our moods and emotions, regardless of the circumstances.
  • Being willing to be wrong when we are and quickly making amends or acknowledging mistakes and doing what we can to clean things up, make things right and move on.

Of course none of us are perfect, we’re all human, and we fall short of maintaining these ways of being at times. However, having commitments to aspire and aim to sell from these ways of being can provide a powerful point of reference to which we can quickly return when we find ourselves falling into habitual or default ways of being that do not serve our customers or ourselves.

Selling is about relationships. What are the ways you are committed to ‘Being’ as you build and engage these relationships? I encourage you to create your own list and to think about ‘How you are being’ as you continue to engage in this noblest of professions.


Dr. John Musser, founder of Enhanced Sales Potential, is trained as a psychologist and has provided sales force evaluations, pre-hire assessments, assessment based sales training, sales leadership development, sales coaching and developed customized sales processes for companies for over 24 years.


1 reply
  1. Peter Papadopoulos
    Peter Papadopoulos says:

    I believe you are spot on! The comments in your article are exactly what we all should practice. Don’t let vanity get in the way. admit your short comings(at least to yourself!) Make you the best you that you can be!!!

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