By saleshq | 19/08/2019 | 0 Comments

The 10 Characteristics of the Top 1% of Sales Performers

I remember when I first started in outside sales….

When I thought of top sales professionals, my mind went to movies like “Boiler Room”…

I thought the best ones were alpha males/females, fast-witted, clever, pushy, arrogant, and potentially even unethical.

Over time, I realized that was just how the media portrayed them and it actually gave sales professionals a bad name.

In fact, I found that sales pro’s that had the above characteristics didn’t usually last and usually weren’t consistently the best!

I found the top sales performers actually have very consistent behavioral traits that allows them to be consistently successful no matter what they sell. After leading top sales professionals for over a decade, I’ve found the below to be the top 10 characteristics of the top 1%:

1.) Goal Oriented: Top sales pro’s always have goals in mind whether they are income goals, revenue goals, sales achievement goals, personal goals, etc.! However, more importantly, they have HIGH GOALS with a HIGH EXPECTATION of themselves. People always perform to the level they expect of themselves so if they have high expectations, they will do whatever it takes (ethically) to achieve their goals!

2.) Ability to Persevere: Once you have set goals, automatically challenges show up! Top sales pro’s know this and can persevere through to achieve the goals. Whether it is a challenging prospect to internal battles of ability to deliver, they are able to persevere through the most difficult challenges to still win!

3.) Creative: I’ve found that the absolute top sales professionals know that their solution is not always a “one size fits all.” They are creative in finding a way to modify either the solution or presentation to influence the close. They are creative in thinking of different solutions within the parameters of their role to be successful. They are also the ones that open up new industries to sell into or new applications of existing products and services.

4.) High Emotional Intelligence: This is a big one – top sales pro’s have a massive amount of social and self awareness. They know how to change and modify how they carry themselves to increase trust with prospects and to gain their business. This is especially important in complex sales processes with multiple buying influences.

5.) Self-Starter: The one-percenter’s are not going to sit around and wait; they are the first to take action and they are constantly on the move to see what they can do to progress a sale forward. They are constantly thinking about their funnel and what they need to do to grow it!

6.) Growth Minded: Top sales professionals are not content with just doing the basics. They are focused on constantly growing their skill sets to become a better version of themselves. They are focused on what else can they learn to become better at their craft, which ultimately leads to a humble mindset.

7.) Compassionate: They care – they truly do care. They care about their prospects, their reputation, their brand, and all the people they work with to deliver their solution. To them, providing a mediocre product is unacceptable as it is their name on it!

8.) Passionate: Top sales professionals flow with passion! No matter what they are selling, they are passionate and that can be seen from the first interaction with the prospect to the closing. A big reason why people love to buy from them is because of their PASSION!

9.) Ownership Mentality: “Accountability” is not a “bad” word in the mind of a top sales professional. They believe they have full ownership for their results and everything else. If they have a bad month, they don’t blame anyone else but themselves. No matter the result, no matter the circumstances, they always take full ownership and accountability and that is why they are successful.

10.) High Coachability: At the end of the day, no matter how good they are, they can always take feedback whether it is from their sales leader or their customers. AND they can execute on the feedback. They are willing to put the ego aside and be coachable no matter the circumstances!

So there you have it – The Top Characteristics of the Top 1% of Sales Professionals! How many of these do you have?

Article written by Marcus Chan and originally published on

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