How to Become a Great Sales Representative

Published: 27th March 2009
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From being both a heavily solicited business owner and sales placement professional, on a weekly basis, I typically interact with over 100 sales representatives. I don't work in a specific industry (only profession: sales), therefore I get to observe sales representatives from virtually every industry. Occasionally, I will stray from sales and assist a client fill an accounting, analyst, receptionist or marketing opening. Through my line of work, I have detected two very important idioms. First, if you are a good salesman, you can sell any product within reason. Second, more so than I've seen in any other occupation, the gap between the professional acumen of a superior and average sales representative is vast.

It is not new news that all sales representatives must engage in constant interaction with others. The good professional listens to the client, is concise with their language, speaks well and is able to build and maintain a personal relationship with their account directors. Rain or shine, they make sure they can continuously generate revenue. Despite frustrating fluctuations, the top men and women remain passionate about selling. They thrive off of the fact that they are paid on performance in lieu of the consistent pay check. On the other hand, lackluster sales representatives show deficient enthusiasm and have an unwillingness to analyze then correct their style according to what works.

Effective sales require intelligence, drive, charisma, passion and confidence. The truth is that 50% of the aforementioned personalities are given at birth and the remanding 50% are gained via a myriad of mediums. Mainly, the non-inherent 50% is obtained through work ethic, education, a close observation of buyer psychology and industry experience.

Work Ethic:

In sales, work ethic does not solely consist of cold-calling, attending meetings, trying to up sell current clients or networking at ambiguous events. Don't get me wrong, these are very important, but a good work ethic also means taking the time to keep up with current events, the economy, competition and industry trends. Knowledge attracts customers and paves the way for you to find something in common with the buyer other than just business.


Without a good education, it is very difficult to get a leg up in corporate sales. For instance, if you don't have good writing skills, your emails are bound to lose deals. If you don't speak with proper grammar, you're more likely to lose credibility. To the good salesman, learning is a constant practice. Educating oneself on such things as accounting, marketing, management and economics is needed.

You will find that every piece of possessed knowledge will eventually come in handy and allow you to initiate and maintain meaningful conversations. A good sales professional makes sure they can intellectually adapt to any key audience. With the internet a click away, there is no excuse for not learning all that is possible.

The Observation of Buyer Tendencies:

Like a chameleon, a good sales representative is able to morph their sales approach in accordance with the customer. They observe the consumers' body language, method of negotiation, personality and speech. It is simply ineffective to approach each customer in the same manner. Doctors are different than business executives who are different than lawyers. Each profession and person has their own quirks and preferences. If you are selling to a doctor, most likely you should not call the office more than twice a week. On the other hand, business executives want to see a strong commitment from the person whom they will be buying from as well as constant account service.

Ken Sundheim, President of KAS Placement, is a seasoned IT Sales representative who has incorporated a cutting edge approach to locating and gaining candidate interest and placing Sales and IT employees in an environment where they are able to thrive. Visit for sales recruiters New York city.

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