The 10 Commandments of Great Salespeople

Acknowledging that this title would have been more appropriate around Easter/Passover than Christmas/Hanukkah, I went with it anyway.

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with several world-class sales organizations — and have also seen those that consistently struggle. I’ve concluded that great salespeople have a shared constitution. These are their 10 Commandments.

1. Thou Shall Be Intellectually Curious

Read. Learn. Participate. Seek professional development opportunities. Ask hard questions. Question everything.

2. Thou Shall Get out of Thy Comfort Zone

Don’t allow yourself to be addicted to comfort. Ask: what will I do with this discomfort? Chase the comfortable path, or be bold? Rejection is uncomfortable, yet constant. Have a plan for dealing with it.

3. Thou Shall Exhibit the Greatest Possible Attention to Detail

Prepare the same way for EVERY opportunity no matter the initial $ value. Do the research. Include, but go beyond, browsing clients’/prospects’ websites, etc. Study your client’s strategic plans and annual reports. Read what others are saying about your clients/prospects on and offline. Note: There’s more to the Van Halen brown M&Ms Story than rock star excess. It’s always about the detail.

4. Thou Shall Make Clients and Prospects Aware of Their Unconsidered Needs

Teach your client about something they didn’t consider. Demonize the status quo. Make them understand the risk of doing nothing is greater than the risk of investing in you. Distinguish yourself from your competitors.

5. Thou Shall Exhibit Relentless Accountability for Thy Market/Territory

Always be the smartest person in the room about your customers, market and competitor.

6. Thou Shall Adopt a Process, Master it and Improve it Every Day

Sales is not about personality, it’s about process. It doesn’t really matter which approach you choose. PICK ONE AND GO! You can fix the flaws along the way.

7. Thou Shall Covet Thy End User’s Needs

Don’t focus exclusively on the buyers’ needs. Clearly demonstrate the impact of your offering on end users to get them in your corner. Understand the workflows and habits of everyone who touches your product/service.

8. Thou Shall Tell Great Stories

Read Joseph Campbell’s A Hero With a Thousand Faces. Your client is the hero. You are the mentor.

9. Thou Shall Make Clear the “Before and After” in Graphic and Specific Terms

Remember the Charles Atlas ads in the back of the comic books? Ever see a weight loss ad WITHOUT a before and after? You haven’t because before and after works.

10. Thou Shall Pick Thy Battles Carefully

Know what matters most to clients/prospects. You can’t be all things to all people. Don’t waste time on lost causes. Fail early.

11. BONUS — (and this one is NOT NEGOTIABLE) You shall deliver and expect 100% honesty and integrity

Be honest and transparent with clients every time, all the time. Demand 100% from clients every time, all the time. Ask the questions that require honest answers. Walk away from clients who aren’t honest and transparent. You’ll be glad you did.

Like what you read? Give Marc Rubner a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.