What Makes An Excellent Salesperson

August 28, 2008

An optometrist was instructing a new employee on how to charge a customer. “As you are fitting his glasses, if he asks how much they cost, you say P4,500.00.”

If his eyes don’t flutter, say, ‘For the frames. The lenses will be P3,500.00.’

If his eyes still don’t flutter, you add ‘Each.’

Boy… oh… boy. This is not customer service… this is a rip off.

This is no way to make a sale.

“Hi… how are you doing?”

“Do you need any help? Well if you do just call me… I’ll be around.”

These are the same words I hear from sales people every time I enter a shop or a boutique in America .

A lot of emphasis is given on customer service.

Businesses know that the only element that maintains business and carries the possibility to make it grow is not the brilliance of their finance people, not the charisma of their CEO and it’s not even the products and services they churn out everyday. The only element for business survival and growth is to create satisfied and loyal customers.

What does it take to be an excellent sales person?

This is the question.

Here is a list of things that make an excellent sales person. As customers we long to see this in our service providers no matter what the industry is. Now you will be amazed that all the sales people we admire exhibit most of the qualities I will be talking about. And you can use this list as a way to hire excellent salespeople–or as a way to improve your own skills:

1. An Excellent Salesperson Is A Sight For Sore Eyes.

Excellent sales people make good first impressions. They are genuine, pleasant, and easy to talk with and they take care of how they look. The best salespeople have a neat and well-groomed look about them. Their clothes and accessories may not have to be expensive but they must be appropriate for the occasion. Here’s a tip: their shoes are always a good indicator: ‘Not too new (with the price tag still on…) but freshly “shined” is what you want to look for.

An excellent salesperson knows that he never gets a second chance to create a first impression.

2. An Excellent Salesperson Loves To Be With People.

One indication you see is that excellent salespeople need to be liked.

They want to please their customers and prospects. They go the extra mile, learn customers’ preferences, and work to educate their customers and keep them informed. And so in relation to this…..

3. An Excellent Salesperson Is A Good Listener.

One thing I noticed with excellent sales people is that they gently probe with questions carefully listening to what their prospects are saying and then the brilliance is that they do not sell but they lead the customers to buy. They are patient with prospects–not pushy. They understand the most important key to successful selling: The sale today is not as important as the relationship tomorrow.

4. An Excellent Salesperson Behaves Professionally

I always admire sales people who do not bad mouth their competitors. They will always point to their product pluses and advantages they offer but they will not verbally tear down others.

Another thing is that excellent salespeople leave their problems at home. Everybody has problems – health, family, financial, personal but excellent sales people never bring these problems to work with them and let them affect their attitudes.

5. An Excellent Salesperson Is An Expert With His Products Or Services.

Great salespeople know their products inside and out. They are fanatical with details. They embrace non-stop learning. They can answer even the most complicated questions from customers without having to refer them to someone else at the company. This is why you will never see a great salesperson who is sloppy and careless.

6. An Excellent Salesperson Is Driven To Succeed.

There are 2 important qualities excellent sales people exhibit; their creativity and assertiveness. They are energetic and they have a very strong work ethic and you see them putting in more hours than their co-workers because they are extremely competitive. They do not compete against others but they compete against themselves. Learning more, doing more and producing more.

7. An Excellent Salesperson Has A Service Mentality.

One thing that distinguishes great sales people is that they are able to step outside of themselves and see things from the customer’s point of view. They do not focus on their benefits or commissions but they focus on meeting all the customer’s needs.

There is a great difference between sales people who are average and those who are excellent. Excellent salespeople never stop improving on themselves. They always strive to be better. They read books, they listen to tapes, they attend non-company sponsored seminars and they read columns just like this one. (Serious!)

But above all, they are good servants because they exhibit what Scriptures say…you know…the part that says something about “doing to others what you want others to do unto you…”

So happy selling.

This Post Has 38 Comments

  1. Rod Salmorin

    Hi Francis,
    This is a great list and I can’t agree more with item #5. I am not a sales person, but my job in a semiconductor company brings me into contact with various sales personnel. The sales people who are experts in their product end up having more orders and enjoy a lasting realtionship with our company. Why? Because, sometimes they know better what’s best for us without us saying so. Also, the free advise we usually get is priceless.

  2. sitholokuhle

    this is very good i have learnt alot and i believe tomorrow i will be a better sales person

  3. fred

    Great blog!, keep up, God Bless

  4. Espie Albelda

    wow! what an eye-opener! Thanks Mr. Kong, you are really great!!

  5. sugar mangune

    I read the blog, it’s so great,, Thanks for the inspiritaion,, God speed..

  6. Patrick Lim

    Amen to all of this. Im so inspired because I want to be a sales person..an excellent one because the challenge does’t stop at one client at a time but there are varieties of experience with different clients and different needs and we are there to support and suggest and made them feel what a customer really deserves. What a nice article. Very motivating and inspiring. God Bless Mr. Kong

  7. ORLY

    How I wish all the Sales Person possess qualities like this. I’m a Service Manager and some problem we encountered is due to bad qualities of a Sales Person. More power to you Sir Francis.

  8. fred monasterio

    very good article, can I quote this?

  9. David

    Thanks Francis. for one to be an excellent sales person you just have to think like your customer

  10. Rain geronimo

    I have been for customer service work for more than 8th years …i want to learn more so i subscribe to your website , this excellent salesperson topic its a good things i learn a lot and i keep read to it

  11. James Sy


    Great insights really and very informative. I can’t express how relative the topics are and applicable to everyday life.

    Good day!

  12. michelle

    that is very enlightening. francis kong never fails to amaze me.

  13. violy

    Actually, the article is not only applicable to a salesperson. It is applicable in all line of work whether you are a janitor or the CEO of the company. A janitor doesn’t need to wear a necktie and a suit but he should be wearing clean dress and shoes too to be a credible janitor. Likewise, we cannot expect our company to give us trainings most of the time, so if we keep on reading inspirational article such as this, we are heading to item no. 7. Thanks Mr. Kong for being a blessing to us by sharing what’s on your mind.

  14. Red

    This is good stuff Sir Francis. I believe we all are sales people because everyday we sell ourselves and our ideas.

  15. Robel Ramos

    thank you Sir Francis, as a salesman myself, i will always keep this in mind, put this into action and definitely share with others. thank you very much. God Bless!!!

  16. Ramir Dimaunahan

    Hello Francis!
    A very helpful list that you compiled for us salespersons!
    At the end of the day, we help the client solve his/her problem by using our
    product or service at a fair profit to our company.
    As salespersons, we work with both sides- client and employer(or investors).
    We then become good servants doing our work as what the holy scriptures say.

  17. Jomar

    well, Sir francis kong is so great in his craft, I was in our company’s conference last week and Its my privileged to meet someone like Sir Francis.Everything else in this website, and the books he has written answers all my inquiries and of course THOUGHT PROVOKING.. YES Sir, i believe in you and I believe that I can be someone like you someday( not in the field where you are in) but to the career that i have taken.god speed

  18. does extenze work

    It is excellent to have the chance to read a good quality post with useful data on topics that plenty are interested on. The point that the data indicated are all first hand on live experiences even aid more. Continue doing what you do as we like reading your work.

  19. Gracie

    This article puts into light how a lot of Filipinos in the sales industry are more of product pushers than service oriented individuals. I hope more people in sales will read this.

  20. Edgar

    I loved to help people. That’s why i am in sales. Traditional way of selling is a thing of the past. Ask questions and diagnose a problem.

    Your Articles would certainly be an inspiration. We give back the honor to God.

  21. Rommela

    This article is really helpful for aspiring salespersons like me. I can check myself and learn a lot from the guidelines that Francis Kong posted. Thank you very much for the lesson that above all Salespersons are to be of service to the customers than to make a sale and make money. Of course, that counts a lot too. But the relationship that is fostered between the salesperson and the customer comes in first hand. Thanks for the article.

  22. marilou

    Very rewarding and enlightenning article.God Bless Mr. Francis Kong

  23. Marteen Kairuz

    Well said. This is a recipe for success! Kudos to Mr. Francis Kong. =)

  24. Edelito C. Sangco

    Being a person endowed with intra-personal intelligence, I love to work silently. But my educational background and work experience had developed my inter-personal intelligence, wherein, nowadays I can work with a team and like to mingle with people. Thanks for your post Sir, it’s a manna from heaven for me to enhance my marketing skills.

  25. Jonathan Calica

    love the customer not the sales

    am i right Mr.KOng?

  26. Joel T

    Sir Francis, this column is very useful. Thanks a lot! This will surely help me
    become a better sales person.

    I will apply everything that I’ve learned from your post starting today. Please keep on inspiring people.

  27. Janet Dorado Taylor

    Hi Francis, reading your article really inspired me to be a better real estate agent. I like to help people to make their dreams come to reality. I am very proud of you being my ex boss. My training from you helped me become a better worker. I thank God for you.

  28. sonny

    sir francis:
    I am taking as my motto your statement:
    “Learning more, doing more and producing more”. I really want to walk this talk. Promise!

    sonny d. s.

  29. josephine sidor

    very inspirational sir kong, as a sales manager in real estate all my co staff!!!

  30. michael t. baquiran

    thanks sir francis. help me a lot since im still new in sales industry, just transfer from finace section of our company.thanks

  31. Abigail

    this is wow! i’m a big fan of Francis Kong and great i’ve found this. 😀 i was smiling while reading this, it makes me more interested in Sales, i’m currently in HR but was really thinking to shift in Sales. haha! :)))
    Thanks Francis!

    any suggestions? 😀

  32. jun s

    I would love to succeed as a sales person.thanks for these principles.have to work on it.

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