Is Optimism the Reason Sales Reps Are Successful?


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When I meet with the newest additions to the AG family, I always make a point to let them know that we’re not looking for a cookie-cutter employee. Everyone here has their own unique traits and a certain style that works for them. Using some creative license here or there is necessary when you cold call and keeps reps engaged in what many would consider the toughest part of selling.

We pride ourselves in being able to get our team up to speed on our process and philosophy quickly. Many times, the difficult parts of coaching are bringing out traits considered un-coachable. Either you have ’em or you don’t. It may be good enough to have a specialized skill in particular job to be successful, but I feel that really doesn’t apply to selling. I’ve found that a well-rounded skill set is what made my best reps successful at the job.

The un-coachable traits can be tough to uncover during the typical interview. Everyone is going to say that they’re a hunter and motivated to sell, everyone is going to appear charismatic, and everyone is going to give you the impression that they’re optimists… and so on. As we all know, that can change once they’re hired and they’ve been getting kicked around cold calling every day. As I’ve mentioned before, the only way you can be assured that those traits remain strong in the rep is by getting in the trenches with them during the tough patches. Cheering them on from a distance will not help.

For me, optimism is the un-coachable trait that has always gotten me through the ebbs and flows of selling. Funny thing is, I asked my Director of Sales if he’d describe himself as an optimist. In short he said no. Granted, he’s not by any means a doom and gloom kind of guy. But if he always assumes he is going to lose the deal, it will drive him to work harder to find a way to land it. That works for him.

Although, I realized what I have in common with my sales guy, independent of being an optimist or a pessimist, we’re both hardwired with the appropriate amount of motivation.

If you’re struggling to get to your number then ask yourself, “How motivated am I?” If the answer is “not very,” then you only have yourself to blame. We can come up with a million excuses, but if motivation isn’t there then you’ll never hit your number. Think about taking some time to re-wire how you approach the job every day. Sometimes it can be that simple.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Craig Ferrara
Craig Ferrara is a Director of Client Operations at AG Salesworks. He joined the company in 2004 as a Business Development Manager, transitioned to Client Account Manager, and was promoted to his current position in 2007. Craig's daily responsibilities include inside sales team oversight, reporting, training, ongoing contact list development and refinement, and managing daily client engagement from a high level.


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