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What makes an extraordinary salesperson


So, when they asked me at WhiteHat Junior, my last employer, what makes me an extraordinary salesperson I said a lot of things. I was awarded the title ‘Guru Cool’ for consistent performance over a long period. Looking back I see three qualities that make a critical difference in the long run.

Communication & discipline:

It pays to start early, you have the bandwidth to make mistakes and learn valuable lessons. At 16, I started by selling Cadburys Chocolates during the Diwali festivities. The guy on the other side of the desk was at least twice my age. At 40, I can tell you the desire to teach a young man is irresistible.

Mr. Ramesh Panicker at Reliance Capital taught me the value of being impeccable in terms of dressing neat & always reaching 30 minutes prior for a meeting. What started out as an effort is now second nature. One has to make an effort to show up late.

You do this for 20 years, they call it reputation. Your customers, colleagues, friends & associates relate to you as someone who can be trusted. Building credibility by demonstrating you deserve to be trusted is precious for a sales professional.

People may have dinner with someone they like, but they will do business with someone they trust and respect. So, the best time to take on being impeccable is right now. All it takes is practice.

We live in the times of mobile phone & technology and communication is extraordinarily important, someone who always reaches out and responds is a super ammo to carry.

Amitabh Bachchan is a well-known Indian actor, he had a massive accident on the sets of his film Coolie. Many organisations across the country joined hands to offer the supply of blood needed to save him. One such organisation was LIFE. The CEO, Mr. Kotecha was our neighbour. Mr. Bachchan survived and they formed a lifelong friendship.

Mr. Kotecha says, if you message or call Amitabh, he will respond even if it’s 0200 AM. In case he fails to answer a call, he will call back and apologise. Amitabh Bachchan is one of the busiest movie stars even at his age. If HE can someone who is booked for the next 2 years, so can I.

Extraordinary people are always in communication. In a distant Zoom driven workplace and business, you extend respect and courtesy by responding to a text or call. Good old chivalry will never be out of fashion, again more so when I am about to part with my money buying your product or service. I want to know if you have the right work ethics.

All of this constitutes integrity that allows for peak hassle-free performance. Imagine you have a 5 year old Ford that works just fine. Your trips to the lake with family or shopping are taken care of, no complaints. The engine sounds funny at times, the tyres look old, but that’s ok. It is OK because of what you are up to with the car.

Say you wanted to participate and win the Formula One. They won’t even sell you the race tickets with this car, let alone enter the racing track.

Simply stated, the level of integrity you gotta operate from is directly correlated to what your goals are in life. If you fancy being an extraordinary salesperson, start behaving like one.

Emotional intelligence:

What is emotional intelligence that everybody seems to be going gaga over these days?

There are ample definitions out there on Google for the same, I have my own.

EI for me is a measure of the awareness and presence of my mental and emotional states and at all times being given by what matters. Let me say that in English for you. Human beings are emotional, social and they express their emotions in a social setting. This vulnerability is what makes us special.

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Now, I am not going to delve into the domain of neuropsychology and discuss what makes us emotional and the role of language, etc because then I would be digressing. So, for the purpose of this article, let us stick to, that we are at all times experiencing different moods, feelings and emotions. Which is fine.

Trouble is most of us are unaware how these feelings are driving us and especially so in our professional lives. Now, why this is relevant is, where you are operating from has a direct impact on your actions and therefore the results. And our professional and financial success depends on our behaviour and actions in a work setting. There’s a plethora of research evidence out there that substantiates my claim here.

You make very bold promises in a good mood, and make nasty personal comments to a client in a bad one. Both of these are detrimental to the interests of the enterprise and in effect our own.

Different people have their own approach to dealing with their mental and emotional states, and each to his own really. I have mine and it seems to work exceptionally well, or at least that’s the word out there.

The key word here is focus. Lemme share an analogy with you, perhaps you’ve already heard this one. A new car is long due and you have been contemplating it for a long time. After a lot of discussions with friends & family, Google research and showroom visits you lock a Red colored Ford sedan. I hope you are able to visualise a Red Ford sedan car.

You are driving to work the next day and there’s traffic on the road and you see this Red Ford sedan. And then you see another. On your way to work and back you notice there’s a lot of these Red Fords everywhere. So, the way our brain is wired is, the moment it finds something that is of interest and importance to you, it will start showing the same thing to you over and over again and everywhere.

Again, controlling my urge to talk about the science behind this, I am gonna focus on the task at hand. Your brain will find you whatever it is that you focus on, and you have a choice in the matter of making that determination.

Coming back to work, if you are focused on your moods, feelings and emotions, guess what, you’ll have more of that. The business is not paying you to focus on your emotional states. The business is paying you to focus on your job. And you will certainly have extraordinary results if you keep your focus on the task at hand.

Like all else this is a matter of practice. No matter what’s happening in my head and heart, the focus is on getting the job done. You do this consistently over a period of time (Yeah, yeah, I know I’m repeating) and you master the skill. You have better workability, people find you sensible and reliable.

The thing you fail to get is, when you perform exceptionally well it reflects on your boss and his boss too. The idea is to at all times ensure that everybody gets to look good because you are doing a damn fine job. This will always have you be in their good books and not like a bootlicker but as a matter of someone who did good for people, and honestly people feel they actually owe you one.

In summation, communication, discipline and being highly aware of yourself and acting in accordance with your business goals allows one to be a high performing salesperson.

About the author

Parashar is a career salesman. He loves everything sales. His simple guiding principle is to focus on communication and emotional intelligence at all times. Email to connect & share your feedback: