After doing many presentations for sales organizations over the years, I’ve concluded that we are all in the profession of selling. Attributes of a successful sales professional include:

• Knowledge of the product
• Effective organizational and communication skills
• Competency in time and stress management
• An ability to mediate dissension and objections
• A high degree of confidence, professionalism, positive attitude
• The ability to provide consistent follow up and exceptional customer service.

Although you may not literally sell a product or service, in actuality you sell yourself every day to those around you and those you love. You are the product. As such, having self-respect is key.

How successful are you at selling you? Are you traveling a path of selling success to achieve your goals and surpass your quota for the year? What are the features and benefits you provide to your customers? What added value do you bring to the people and family members you associate with? Are you knowledgeable about the elements that create the product “you”?

Develop Your Personal Sales Acumen
Welcome to Selfless Selling 101! Following are a few skills to set you on a path to selling success.

• How organized are you? With the ever-increasing speed of technology and pace of life, staying organized has become increasingly stressful. However, a lack of organization combined with the onslaught of information and speed of living only increases stress and frustration. To better organize your life, pace yourself and slice each task into pieces like a pie, and don’t attempt to devour the entire dessert. Something as simple as cleaning part of the garage, eliminating some stuff you do not need, or updating one piece of paperwork (i.e. a will) are a sampling of slices. The key is to take an efficient and thoughtful piece each time to ensure the results of your activities are of quality, not just quantity, enabling better preparation for tomorrow.

• How are you marketing the product of “you” to your customers? Your ability to communicate effectively is the basis for others to understand who you are, providing an honest representation of what they are buying.

• Are you a good listener? In any selling situation, listening is essential and yet it is one of the least taught communication skills. If you do not listen, how can you genuinely know what your client needs? In other words, if you do not listen more carefully to the needs of your friends and family, how can you effectively ascertain a solution to their concerns and issues. Let us all make a greater effort in making sure we listen, think before we speak, and analyze more effectively than emotionalize.

• Do you respect your time? With disorganization comes its best friend, improper time management, resulting in tremendous stress and emotional turmoil. Are you keeping appointments with yourself? Are you managing and scheduling your activities constructively? Do you have an appointment book, a planner, a journal, a pattern of behavior and action steps to maintain efficiency and productivity? Proper personal planning does prevent poor personal performance. Take the time to plan your day and strive for a level of consistency to maintain order in your life.

• Are you respecting yourself? Selling, as living life, is stressful. What are you doing to alleviate that pressure? Are you eating right, exercising, and taking time to participate in undertakings you enjoy? You can only be as effective for others as you take the time to be effective for yourself. Not taking care of your emotional and physical well-being cannot be used as an excuse to be miserable and ineffective. It is a personal choice to neglect yourself. Any accountable and competent sales professional will tell you selling can be exhausting and draining, and life is no different. To not maintain your health, energy, and stamina through the course of selling, or life, only makes the task at hand more difficult. Personal maintenance allows you to better handle crises, dissention, and provides you the courage to handle rejection and objections.

Understanding and practicing the core values that create the product of “you” provides the confidence and the ability to be professional and positive. It also enables you to provide the kind of service that every customer would want and expect. When you close each sale with sincerity, class, and humility there is no doubt you will be awarded sales professional of the year.

Author's Bio: 

Jay Rifenbary is a professional speaker, trainer, and consultant who provides expertise in the areas of personal and professional development, leadership, and communications. He is president of Rifenbary Training & Development and the author of two books, "True To Your Core - Common Sense Values for Living Life to Its Fullest" and “No Excuse! – Incorporating Core Values, Accountability and Balance into Your Life and Career." Visit for more information.