3 traits that will help you become the best of the best

By mschreier

You, too, can be the best of the best in sales. When you do, you get to create the same feelings of loyalty in your customers. What could be better than that?

I worked for a lovely gentleman who always referred to his staff as the best of the best. Imagine how it felt to know that your boss thought of you that way! Do you want to be the best of the best in sales? You can when you do what they do.

They’re fast.

No, not Michael Phelps fast, but fast in the speed it takes them to solve customer problems. From a customer’s point of view, there’s nothing worse than the endless delays it takes to solve problems. How do the best salespeople solve problems fast?

They may not know the answers to all their customers’ problems. It doesn’t matter. They know a lot of people, so they have many resources to use to solve, whatever problems arise. What happens when even they can’t reach someone who can solve their customer’s problems? They’ll know someone who knows someone who can.

The average salesperson is different. The average salesperson with a customer problem is thinking, “What should I do?” And in the same amount of time these sales greats have either solved the problem through their contacts or are well on their way to getting the answer before the others have even started. That’s fast.

They have great vision.

Great sales vision has nothing to do with what you see. It has everything to do with what you don’t see. The best salespeople will be working with customers and as they listen to the issues that their customers’ face, will be thinking of the root cause of the problem that the customer just can’t see.

I remember one industrial lubricants salesman who said, “Whenever I see hydraulic equipment failures, I never think it’s the equipment. I always look at how the maintenance guys are handling the oil. Usually, their handling practices are poor and they’re contaminating the oil, which causes the failures.”

The best of the best uncover what customers don’t know that they don’t know. They see big picture problems and the root cause of problems. Then these sales greats fix them. That’s great vision. Uncovering the unseen problems is a big part of insurance sales.

They’re pushy

How can pushy be good for sales? Most people think of pushiness as what’s wrong with salespeople, not what’s right. The best salespeople are pushy, though. How can that be? It’s all about what they push.

Instead of pushing their customers to buy things that aren’t necessarily in their best interests, these great salespeople push everyone else to serve their customers better. I know one insurance salesman who is the best of the best. His job is to get the best insurance coverage for his clients. He goes to his suppliers and explains his clients’ coverage needs. They give him a quote that he brings to his clients.

Do you think four quotes would be enough to give his customers a few good options? For most salespeople, it would be. Not for the best of the best. He goes to 10 suppliers before he is confident that he has done all that he can to find the best options for his clients.

Pushy salesman get other departments to function better to serve their clients. Deliveries are on time. Invoices are correct. It’s not magic; it’s because these great salespeople push others to perform.

It's a great feeling being part of a team known as the best of the best. We become a more cohesive, loyal team. You, too, can be the best of the best in sales. When you do, you get to create the same feelings of loyalty in your customers. What could be better than that?

Action items
  • What is delaying you from being quicker to respond?
  • What are you hearing that indicates a different problem than the one that’s described?
  • What more could you do for a customer to demonstrate the value you bring?