The Ultimate Sales Professional Part II – You Changed the Game!


Make your commitment to be the best!  Last week we talked about the skills and attributes of the very best sales professionals.  This week we take it a little further, and go even deeper!  You can actually change the game.  This post is access to a ton of information that will help you!


We continue to revisit this important topic on an in-depth basis.  This is where the differences are made!

In Part I we took an in-depth look at the traits of the Ultimate Sales Professional. If you missed it, you can access it by clicking here: Black Sales Journal 3/23, The Ultimate Sales Professional – Is it You?.

Part I looked at the traits that made this individual so highly desirable for sales managers and customers alike. Part II will look at the activities, which set this individual, apart. I am not saying that by doing these items you will be the ultimate sales professional, but it will be well on the way.

These activities exceed the norm for many sales professionals. Being Black and in sales means you have to always be on top of your game.   This group of actions is not over the top. These items represent what one must do to be the ‘best of breed’.  This is a chance to see how these items, applied well, can make an individual the crème de la crème of sales professionals.

Activities of Sourcing Prospects

Finding that next customer is something every sales professional has to think about on a daily basis.  This activity is the most important activity a sales professional will ever have. If you have this activity solved, you are well on the way to professional success.  This is the way the ultimate sales professionallooks at sourcing prospects:

  • Know Your Prospecting Formula and Ratios. This individual, the ultimate sales professional, knows how many prospects he or she really needs to be successful (Black Sales Journal 2/28, How Many Prospects Do You Really Need). This sales professional grades his or her prospects and recognizes how much time to spend on those with the highest grades while at the same time knows the ratios and law of large numbers.
  • Be accomplished at getting past the gatekeeper. This professional knows how to get past the gatekeeper and when that does not work as desired, knows how to get around the gatekeeper (Black Sales Journal 2/17, Getting Past the Gatekeeper).  Using these techniques on the phone and in person swells the prospect numbers creating a cache of potential proposals that his/her colleagues covet.
  • Be resourceful in the prospecting process. This individual knows how to get prospects in ways other than cold calling.  An example of it is that the ultimate sales professional finds prospects by conducting informational seminars not only for the benefit a customer/prospect, and also for his/her own benefit in finding ready-to-buy customers (See Black Sales Journal 3/24, Finding Prospects Through a Seminar).
  • Be an adept networker. This individual is solid in the art of networking. He or she knows that being at the right function with the right people can net leads beyond the normal cold-call.  This was explained in depth in Black Sales Journal 2/21, Networking for the Black Sales Professional.   The effective networking undertaken efficiently will pay dividends when the time is right.

Now that we know the rudiments of how this resourceful individual will find that necessary and continuing stream of prospects that turn to customers, lets take a look at how this individual works with customers.

The Customer Interface – Master It!

Once you have a valued customer, you must recognize that even though the customer can represent a lasting stream of income, almost an annuity, they also require “care and feeding”.  I know that this sounds somewhat abstract, yet think of it this way, and you will also be able to relate it to some things that you need to do on a continual basis.

The Ultimate Sales Professional does this extremely well.  Let’s look at a few of his tactics:

Don’t forget the customer relationship issues discussed in the last post, as these points beckon stronger, more durable, relationships that are founded on value.  (Black Sales Journal 7/15, The Ultimate Sales Professional Part I)

More To Come

Knowing the activities and customer interface techniques that the best would need to be accomplished, you can now rest assured that it does not stop here.  Black sales professionals should embody these traits as your quest for ‘preference’ in the eyes of a buyer is riddled with inequities, including the fact that you will need to be better than your peers.   In the next post Part III (which will post on Thursday 6/13, we will examine the other elements that pull it all together.  Join us as we discuss “where the differences are made!”

Let me know how you receive these and whether the picture is getting clear.

Your comments are welcome. You can reach me at

The Ultimate Sales Professional! Is it You?

I guess you could say that I have “Drank the Kool-Aid”  On this one!  There are just certain skills, attributes, and attitudes that you can have or develop that will put you in the leagues with the best.  Read today and Tuesday, 3/28, to get the rest of the scoop.  There is much to think about here.


Since late November of 2010, we have described many of the traits that a true successful professional would have.  We have outlined the activities and processes that would, over time, make a verifiable difference in this individual’s ability to reach goals, and provide customer satisfaction.

We have discussed personality attributes and skills that make a difference over the last several posts.  Once again it is time to talk about how a sales professional puts these all together and finds success.

Over the next three posts we will revisit these important posts and put these together in an effort to portray that individual who is sought by sales managers and customers alike.

This professional has learned the benefits of mastering relationships, both internal and external, to get the maximum leverage from each personal encounter.  This professional knows the different methods of getting exposure, and how to capitalize on it.  This individual is always prepared.

There will be some references to previous issues of Black Sales Journal, as I want to keep this as concise as possible, yet capitalize on the wealth of information that has been published to date.

Deep Enduring Relationships

There is no area more important in the long run than knowing how to ‘master the relationship’.  It does not matter what your level of intelligence is if you cannot decipher how to ‘work’ your personal relationships to your advantage, and your customers benefit, you will not have maximum effectiveness.

There is an ‘art to the relationship’ that is undeniable.  It cannot be substituted by process, intelligence, or hard work.  You see, the ‘art of the relationship’ is not an inherited trait.  It is something that you hone with every interface.  It can be aided by having a gregarious and engaging personality.

The successful Black sales professional has the ability to form deep and enduring customer relationships (Black Sales Journal 1/13, Deep and Enduring Customer Relationships and Black Sales Journal 1/20, Deep and Enduring Customer Relationships II).  This individual works with the assurance that existing relationships are strong enough to receive ‘preference’ as compared to ‘wanna-be’ sales professionals look to unseat him or her.  In other words, the customer prefers to do business with someone like this professional, and that preference ‘spoils’ the customer.  This is a powerful preference that is enduring, and anchors the relationship.  We all want to work with someone that provides value, and is concerned about our business, and produces results for us.

This ‘preference’ exists not only because of the solid personal and business connection that exists, but also because the professional is effective in providing the customer something of value.  Always strive to always be effective and always show value.

Undying Professionalism

Being effective is a good start, yet by itself it is not enough.  The consummate professional is more than just effective; he or she does those things that exude success.  We talked about this in Black Sales Journal 3/7, Be the Consummate Professional. This individual is:

  • Punctual
  • Empathetic
  • Attentive
  • Knowledgeable
  • Organized
  • Responsive
  • Visionary

Most of these are self explanatory, yet I want to spend a minute on a couple of them:

Responsiveness is ever important.  As stated in Black Sales Journal, Responsiveness – the Objective of the Sales Professional 6/16/2011, responsiveness is in the eyes of the customer.  It is defined by the customers expectations, and includes such important items as:

  • Answers the phone and returns calls promptly
  • Keeps commitments
  • Provides answers to inquiries and questions as soon as possible
  • Stays in touch – communicates
  • Provides requested information promptly

Knowledge will always set you apart.  This knowledge could get you labeled an expert.  This ‘designation’ comes from those people and businesses that have benefited from your knowledge, and make the claim in your behalf.  See a most interesting set of articles in Black Sales Journal 12/20, Your Customer Needs an Expert and Black Sales Journal 6/27, More on Being an Expert – An Edge for the Black Sales Professional.  Expert power is attractive to a customer.

Empathy provides a connection and a serum that convinces the customer you are real.  If you have no empathy for the customer, then why are you calling on them?  How are you going to solve their problem if you don’t have that connection?  Put yourself in you customer’s shoes.  Live their problems and your solutions will come about easier.  Always keep in mind that a customer can tell when you have no empathy as easily as you can tell when a love interest of yours is not interested.

Now for the point that pulls this together:  If you condition yourself to be accomplished at all of these different items, you will havecredibility. Enormous credibility is the product of having deep enduring relationships and being a consummate sales professional.

More to Come….

Armed with what is above you would think that success would be much more probable.  You probably are correct, although what are missing are the activities, habits, and processes that make the person formidable even if some of the personality issues are missing.

We will cover them in the next two information-filled posts.  These are powerful for the Black sales professional.  These items are hard to put together, and even more difficult to master, yet when you do, you have an enormous amount of power and potential.

Next up:  Black Sales Journal 3/28– The Ultimate Sales Professional Pt. II –Sales Professional in Action

We hope you will read it.  If you have comment, write me at