This guest post was written by Adam Honig, Co-founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. 


These are the 5 habits of top performing salespeople:

Remember your first sales call? You may have fumbled through it and made what felt like, a million mistakes. While I’m sure your first few sales calls weren’t as bad as the one in Tommy Boy where Chris Farley actually lights the desk of a prospect on fire, we all can still learn from seasoned sales professionals.

Over the past months we’ve been running a contest with Selling Power Magazine to identify the top salespeople in North America, and I have had a chance to talk with some amazing salespeople as a result. (Psst — we’re also giving away a $5,000 top prize, you should consider entering!)

I asked these sales professionals for their pointers on what they do to excel in sales.

Here’s what they said:

1. They Know What They Know

The most important trait a prospect wants to see is honesty. And by honest, I mean, admitting to what you know and what you don’t know. Yes, it is important to know the product you are selling inside and out, but it is also okay to admit when you don’t know something.

It is also okay to admit when you don’t know something.

We are all human and don’t know everything. If they ask a question you can’t answer, be honest about it and pull someone else in from your company who can properly explain a solution. Sales is all about building a relationship with your customer, and honesty is the best policy.

2. They Get to Know Their Prospect — All About Them

Yes, of course in sales you’re trying to close the deal. But, pump the brakes a bit in the beginning and don’t jump right into your prepared pitch. Imagine your client like a new friend or someone you date. Slow down and ask questions – get to know them and their specific circumstance a little better. Every customer’s needs are different, so take a few minutes to learn about their unique requirements. Only then will they trust that your intentions are to sell them the right solution, not just a pre-packaged, automated sales pitch of a solution. In other words, don’t be a robot!

In other words, don’t be a robot!

Be human and get to know them.

3. They Let Them Finish Their Thought

Respect your mother! Or at least, respect the important lesson I’m sure she taught you – it’s not polite to interrupt. I’m sure you have your sales schtick down pat, but you never know what a customer is going to say or ask. Be sure to give your full attention to listening to your customers. Take a pause and openly tune in to their needs.

Take a pause and openly tune in to their needs.

Always be sure they are completely finished with their thought before you respond.

4. They Are Relatable

One of the best ways to build a connection with someone is to find common ground. Share your own, relatable, experiences. For instance, saying “Hey, I understand how frustrating it can be to not have XXXX product work for you, but here are your options…” It shows you have empathy and helps create a bond of mutual experience. You become human and your customer will then know you truly understand.

You become human and your customer will then know you truly understand.

A robot can’t relate on that level, not yet anyways.

5. They Are Present and Focused

When you’re on a sales call, please don’t act like a one-man band doing a million different things.

Please don’t act like a one-man band.

Jumping between your phone and computer while talking to a client, shows a lack of concern for their needs. Give them your focused attention by putting your technology devices away. Your customers are of utmost importance, so prove that to them by being present.


Adam Honig is the co-founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a natural sales leader with a mission to help salespeople make more money using artificial intelligence — or any sort of intelligence for that matter. Adam has been a founder of four companies which resulted in two triumphant IPOs and two legendary mergers. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the ‘No Jerks’ hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.

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Kayla Kozan

Kayla Kozan

Director of Marketing at Ideal
Kayla spent the last few years studying Marketing and Entrepreneurship on 3 different continents. Now covering the latest in predictive analytics, workplace diversity and big data. She has a keen interest in tech and discovering underrated brunch spots.
Kayla Kozan