8 Habits of Highly Successful Salespeople

Becoming a top sales associate isn’t all about hard work it’s about smart work.  Most highly successful salespeople don’t have to work as hard as those who may be striving to reach the higher ranks and successes.

The difference between the highly successful sales associates and the ones that are working so hard and possibly getting nowhere lies in what they do on a regular basis.

We have listed eight habits that the world’s top performers do regularly. Take a look and see how you can incorporate them into your own sales methods and strategies.


1. Disqualify the customers that aren’t a match – One of the worst things you can do when it comes to customers is telling yourself that every customer is a good fit for you.

Close to 50% or so of the potential car buyers you speak with will not be a good fit for the vehicles you have available, the promotions you’re offering, or the financing options available to them.

Instead of stressing the ones that aren’t a good fit, let them go and focus your energy on the ones that ARE the right fit.

This is one of the biggest habits highly successful salespeople do. Why waste time on a prospect that you knew wasn’t really right for your offerings from the start?

If you’re willing to walk away from the customers that aren’t a good fit you will be able to direct your energy and time to the ones that are looking for what you have to offer.

One word of caution, don’t disqualify potential customers rudely. You never know when they could potentially need your services in the future. If you have conducted yourself in a professional and kind manner, you could end up getting them as customers later on down the line.


2. Listen more than you speak – One of the common mistakes sales associates can make is talking too much.

If you’re doing all the talking you can’t possibly be paying attention to what your potential customers need.  An expert salesperson always listens more than they talk.

Learn to ask questions that give you a complete picture of their goals, needs, and preferences. Doing so will enable you to put together deals that will motivate and inspire them to purchase.


3. Tone it down and be genuine – Enthusiasm is great, but NO ONE likes a fake, over-the-top or pushy salespeople.

Most customers run the other way when they encounter sales associates like that.

Overly cheerful, “HI! ISN’T IT A WONDERFUL DAY TODAY?!” kind of people turn off customers even if they are interested in your product.

To follow the examples of top-notch salespeople, lower your tone of voice and volume, ask sincere, thought-out questions, and be genuine. You will be amazed at the difference in reception.


4. Desperation isn’t necessary – There can be a lot of pressure on you as a sales associate, especially if you work off of commissions only. Never let desperation cloud your judgment or actions.

In every meeting with a customer, you should appear financially confident, successful, and secure. You don’t want your customers to feel pressured just because you’re worried about paying your bills.

Top performing sales associates know that when you appear to NOT need the customer’s sale, they are much more attracted to you and be more inclined to listen to what you have to say.

When they know you are desperate they will feel that you will say anything just to get that sale. They may even believe that you are charging more to get more money for yourself.


5. Diagnose the customer’s needs FIRST – When a doctor examines a patient, he doesn’t start off with the treatment, he asks questions, listens to what you have to say and THEN makes the diagnosis and treatment.

Let’s apply that same principle to sales.  You talk to a customer and immediately start trying to sell them something before you hear anything about what they need, want, or prefer.

That is a very fast way to lose a future sale.  Instead do what the expert salespeople do and diagnose what your potential customer needs and wants first, THEN put together a deal that is customized to them.

They will appreciate that you are fitting the deal around their needs rather than trying to force them into an existing deal that may or may not meet all of their needs.  


6. Focus on the decision-makerThe top 5% of sales associates sell to the decision makers. There needs to be some careful planning when it comes to who your point of contact is when dealing with customers. In many cases, there will be a couple that comes to the dealership to purchase a vehicle.

With experience, you will be able to tell which one of the two is the primary decision maker. Don’t ignore the other part of the couple, but make sure you are listening carefully to what BOTH of them are looking for and make sure that you tick all the boxes on the decision-makers list.


7. Spend your time where it pays offThere are many tasks that a salesperson encounters that are linked directly to money-making. These tasks include prospecting calls and emails, following up with highly responsive customers, and setting up appointments. Success in any of these areas means more sales.

There are other tasks that are part of being in sales as well that won’t increase your profits at all such as paperwork, order fulfillment, etc. As much as possible, delegate those tasks to others, periodically checking to make sure they are being handled properly. The best of the best sales associates spend their time where the money is.


8. Know the value of word of mouth – Expert sales associates know the value of following up with customers even after the sale is completed due to word of mouth referrals.

Word of mouth can make or break your reputation and the top performers know this.  Make sure that you follow up on every successful sale to see how they are doing with their new vehicle and to make sure that if there are any problems, you can help them right away.

Taking care of your customers and following up will make an impression on them that can really benefit you when it comes to future sales. Even if that customer never buys another car, they may have teens that need cars, friends that are looking to buy, and even acquaintances that they would recommend you to because of your dealings with them.

Never under-estimate the value of a customer even after the sale, it can lead to many other sales that you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.



These eight habits separate the average salespeople from the top performers. None of these secrets are hard to implement.  If you’re not already using them, see where you can make changes to your existing sales strategies so you can move to the top of your game and enjoy the benefits of being a top salesperson.

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