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Product/Transaction Specialist Sales Rep Profile:
Compare High Performers to Low Producers

Position Overview: Requires the ability to spot new customers with the most potential and the means to effectively close the deal; this is driven by the ability to work independently and the determination to produce profitable results.

Predictive Skills: Five characteristics will predict sales rep success in this sales position. Review below how top sales performers will differ from lower performers.


Produces above-average results selling relatively new products with no proven track record or discretionary purchases which have several alternatives vying for the same budget dollars by working to understand customer buying motivations and matching the sales proposition to them; has the ability to identify hot buttons to appeal to a specific buyer without appearing insincere or heavy-handed


  • Is driven to understand prospects’ and customers’ needs so the product offering can be properly positioned with the appropriate group of features and options
  • Enjoys the challenge of exploring a unique set of needs
  • Varies the benefit message to fit the buyer even though the product offering is fairly fixed
  • Works to identify the approach or product offering that is most appealing to a prospect


  • Impatient or uncomfortable with needs analysis
  • May focus on own objectives without really understanding what the customer needs
  • May try to force an immediate match of the product to the customer’s need, then quickly move on if unsuccessful
  • May use a standard benefit message regardless of the prospect's motivation to buy


Capitalizes on the moment in a closing market; recognizes that there is limited opportunity to probe an indifferent or ambiguous response; spends time with those prospects who clearly want or need the product; immediately targets a prospect’s hot buttons; discontinues pursuit of a purchase decision if interest is cooling; swiftly assesses a readiness to buy and quickly eliminates questionable prospects


  • Excites trailblazers or gate swingers with the vision of a unique opportunity
  • Emphasizes dramatic benefits to attract attention and to pique a prospect’s interest
  • Recognizes that there is a very narrow window of opportunity to capitalize on a prospect’s enthusiasm and emotional desire for the product or service
  • Focuses questions on the ability to use/pay for and the readiness or urgency to buy
  • Is willing to “cut loose” an indecisive prospect and focus limited resources on those prospects closer to a buying decision


  • Probes to determine a prospect’s need and readiness to buy using more concrete benefits and features than emotional appeal
  • Becomes too involved in any one prospect to quickly and objectively sort potential buyers from the crowd
  • Lengthens the qualifying process to the extent that prospect enthusiasm and excitement begin to wane
  • Diverts time and resources from ‘hot’ prospects by trying to generate increased interest from lukewarm prospects
  • Takes losing a prospect as a personal failure and cannot easily disengage when there is limited sales opportunity


Makes an immediate request for a purchase decision; uses emotional appeal to gain an agreement to buy, such as the risk of losing the opportunity to gain an advantage or to be on the cutting edge; takes pride in a readiness to sell and runs at full throttle, looking for opportunities to trial close; trial closes on features; gives the customer permission to buy and provides the emotional 'push' to make an intuitive decision


  • Uses a persuasive sales style to motivate a purchase decision
  • Builds the prospect’s enthusiasm to the point where he is more concerned about not getting the benefit as quickly as possible
  • Emphasizes the risk associated with lost opportunity or giving up ground to the competition who may get the benefit first
  • Gives permission to buy with ‘good’ reasons why the purchase is justified
  • Notes restricted availability and offers a limited time period to buy
  • Makes an immediate request for the order while the prospect is still excited
  • Stays focused and is always prepared to take advantage of every opportunity for a trial close


  • Tends to push or ‘coerce’ the prospect into buying rather than draw him into anticipating the use of the product or service
  • Concentrates on reinforcing logical benefits when it is the emotional benefits that will attract a prospect to cutting edge technology
  • May seek a purchase decision without completely removing barriers, causing the customer to feel pushed into a quick choice
  • Is distracted from the primary goal of asking for the order by becoming too involved in the personal interaction or getting into an in-depth discussion of product features and options


Champions an area or project; does not depend on or require direction from others to take advantage of opportunities for constructive change; stays aware and informed to avoid missing opportunities; willing to change the present status in order to improve own productivity or further personal goals


  • Champions own effort and results to further career goals
  • Is willing to take action without direct supervision
  • Finds and implements a solution when barriers to goal accomplishment are encountered
  • Takes personal responsibility for developing own career potential
  • Actively draws upon available resources to make improvements in personal productivity
  • Unwilling to leave well enough alone when personal achievement is at risk


  • Is uncomfortable developing a solution to a problem or trying a different approach without positive directives from a higher authority
  • Hesitates to develop own ideas for personal productivity improvement or to set aggressive career goals
  • Prefers to wait for a negative situation to resolve itself or for a solution to a problem to present itself
  • May be more comfortable conforming to established policies or implementing time-tested methods for accomplishing personal goals than trying to find more effective approaches


Stays on task despite setbacks or distractions; is unwilling to abandon or change a goal without first increasing the level of effort or commitment to reach it; remains undaunted in the face of rejection or failure; looks for steady and consistent progress in meeting objectives versus proceeding in spurts; is unwilling to allow the level of personal enjoyment to dictate his level of commitment to a task or directive


  • Remains focused on his goals despite setbacks or distractions
  • Does not change the goal to accommodate difficult or challenging circumstances, but puts greater effort into reaching the goal if that is what’s required
  • Will not shortcut a process because it would be easier or more convenient
  • Capable of staying on track if the benefits from his endeavors are long term and results are not immediate
  • Will persist through failure or rejection
  • Does not allow his enjoyment or lack of enjoyment of the task at hand to dictate the effort and time he commits to accomplishing a goal


  • Tends to lose his focus when distractions or roadblocks are encountered
  • Prefers to change or modify his objective if the path to accomplishment is blocked or too complex for early success or immediate gratification
  • May not persist through seemingly insurmountable odds or repeated failure
  • Becomes frustrated with a steady effort that eventually leads to success, preferring the path to achievement to be free of delays and obstacles
  • Tends to adjust his level of commitment to a task or directive in accordance with how much he enjoys or is motivated by the steps involved

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