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Underestimating the Value of Being a Great Salesperson

You have a great offering. Your competitor also has a great offering.

You have a tried and true sales process. Your competitor has a tried and true sales process, too.

You are using the latest and greatest sales methodology. Your competitor is also using the shiny new “new” thing.

Your sales force automation is a modern marvel. Everything you use is integrated into a beautiful, sleek interface with custom dashboards. Your competitor’s SFA is a dead ringer for yours. Only the company logo is different.

You are equipped with the best technology that money can buy. Well, how about that. Ditto your competitor; they’re equally well equipped.

The Difference: You.

We tend to overestimate the impact of some things on sales results and greatly underestimate what’s most important. In any sales organization where the above statements are true, they’re true for every salesperson on the sales team. That means the difference in results is something else, even in your sales organization.

The difference that makes a difference is you, the salesperson. It’s helpful to have a great offering, an effective sales process, good methodologies, and great technology. But it isn’t a substitute for the value created by a great salesperson sitting face-to-face with their dream client.

If you want to improve something that will immediately and irrevocably improve your sales results, you start with the greatest asset you will ever have for producing results: You. You becoming the best ever version of yourself will do more to improve your sales results than anything else.


What do you substitute for developing your sales skills?

What accounts for the difference in sales results between salespeople in the same organization? Different organizations?

If you could change one thing that would massively improve your results, what would you change?

How much does the salesperson account for in the decision to buy?

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  • IrreverentSalesGirl

    Anthony, I love this post. This is why I always beat the competition (in the long run). I am INFECTIOUS – I am fun, enthusiastic, irreverent, straight. People love it when I am straight.

    I CONNECT people with other people – whether they are clients or not. Whether they pick the competition (temporarily, almost always) or not. I get them in touch with people who will make a diff for them.

    I AM PATIENT. This baffles everyone I work with. I will do as many presentations as you like. I will stay in touch while your company is doing budget restructuring and re-orgs. I will get you the stuff you need, no matter what. I will always be friendly and responsive.

    I AM what people buy.

    I only say this to confirm you are correct – not to self-aggrandize (believe me – I blow it all the time).

    YOU make a difference. YOU are the key! If you care about them, they will care about you and – ultimately – you WILL win!

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      No doubt, you are. You even send old school thank you cards like a boss! : )

  • MrTonyDowling


  • cristian

    Is like the Super Bowl when both teams are at the top of their game. The difference is so small that win or loss can be dictated by the little things that happen throughout the game.

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      As in the Super Bowl, as in life!

  • Jay Oza

    This is a very good and something I have been thinking about after reading Doris Kearns Goodwin book “The Team of RIvals.” and seeing the movie “Lincoln.”

    One learns a lot about sales from reading about Lincoln. He sold himself first before he sold any ideas. He did it with three skills: humor, storytelling and being non-judgemental.

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      There aren’t too many things more powerful than a sense of humor, the ability to spin a yarn, and not being judgmental.

  • Rodney Goldston

    Dead on Anthony…People buy people (when all else is equal).

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      All things being equal, relationships win. All things being unequal, relationships still probably win.

  • The Responsive Edge

    Being a great salesperson begins with being a great “person.” At the most fundamental level, BEing a great person is about staying out-of-the box more often than getting in it.

    Another great blog post, Anthony. You are a difference maker. Thanks!

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      What box?

      • The Responsive Edge

        The Box = Resistance

        Altho’ I am not an affiliate of this author’s work nor the Arbinger Institute, their book, “Leadership & Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box,” provides the best (and only) explanation of the box.

      • S. Anthony Iannarino

        Such a great book. I might have to re-read.

  • S. Anthony Iannarino

    Thanks, Monica! You know I will!

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