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Territory Relationship Product Sales Rep Profile:
Compare High Performers to Low Producers

Position Overview: Requires excellent interpersonal skills including the ability to break through customer doubts and make customers feel personally valued, the ability to present independently and the desire to constantly find ways to increase existing sales to current customers.

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


Focuses on uncovering and resolving the emotional component of customer or prospect barriers to the sale; responds to any hint of concern or complaint that will keep a prospect from buying; takes responsibility for relieving the tension or distress of a prospect; draws on strong empathy for the prospect or customer to offer product alternatives and/or increased personal service to address concerns; is willing to take the heat of a prospect’s concerns, believing that keeping the prospect happy is worth future business or goodwill; keeps the customer focused on what can be provided and compensates for objections that cannot be removed with personal support and commitment


  • Intent on probing for concerns that may prevent customer acceptance of the solution
  • Works hard at being responsive to any hint of concern or complaint that could keep a prospect from buying
  • Promises support or enhancement of, not replacement of, in-house expertise or invention
  • Justifies cost to the organization in terms of superior delivery and added value advantage
  • Takes steps to ‘win over’ the user as well as the decision maker (when not one in the same)
  • Knows the pros and cons of each offering in the product line to help the customer select the best-fit choice
  • Is willing to take the prospect’s side versus impose a conflicting management system or procedure; works 51% for the customer and 49% for own company
  • Does not take customer resistance personally
  • May believe so strongly in the product that there does not appear to be a need to probe for additional concerns
  • Misinterprets unspoken objections as nonexistent objections
  • Dismisses objections without validating the prospect’s concerns
  • Does not believe there is a realistic chance to find a mutually satisfying resolution to objections
  • Is argumentative in an effort to overcome versus resolve objections
  • Can take objections personally


Bases an assumptive close on personal friendship and loyalty; focuses more on emotional than logical benefits of the sale, such as what it takes to make someone look good to their boss versus emphasizing cash savings and cost reduction; determines and addresses relevant benefits important to the individual rather than work from a checklist; builds a personal trust and empathy with the customer, securing the purchase decision by becoming a player on their team


  • Patiently builds a personal relationship that will cement the deal
  • Brings the customer to an acceptance of the purchase decision by understanding what he needs and addressing issues of specific concern to that customer
  • Accepts a purchase decision on a handshake
  • Makes a personal investment in the client relationship, and builds a mutual trust and loyalty that enables him to ask for the order
  • Reticent to invest the time needed to cultivate a personal relationship, preferring to emphasize logical over emotional reasons for making the purchase decision
  • Tends to use a standard checklist that ends with asking for the order rather than approach the close by understanding what motivates a customer to sign off on an agreement
  • Waits for the customer to come to the conclusion that his needs will be satisfied by the product or service offered


Empathizes with customers who feel they are not getting what they expect; is sensitive to customer concerns and demonstrates a sincere desire to help; listens to the nature of the problem without feeling that it is a personal attack; identifies with the customer’s pain and works to relieve it; gives priority to making the customer happy; judges the success of service skills by how the customer feels about the resolution


  • Shows loyalty to the customer by giving priority to their satisfaction over company policy
  • Seeks service solutions that resolve the problem with ease, convenience and minimal disruption to the customer
  • Provides an immediate response, even if just to reassure the customer that the concern has been heard and will be addressed
  • Increases a customer’s comfort with communicating problems or dissatisfaction by keeping his own emotions in check and absent from the resolution process
  • Asks for customer feedback about a service solution to ensure complete satisfaction and a continuing relationship
  • Believes the ultimate test of a service solution is the customer’s happiness with the outcome
  • May treat the resolution and dismissal of a problem from his list of tasks as more important than the customer’s satisfaction with the resolution
  • By personalizing negative input from the customer, he may adopt a position that is more adversarial than supportive
  • Spotlights his contribution to the solution rather than keep the focus on how the customer feels about the outcome
  • Wants to impress customers with what he can accomplish for them, turning their attention from being pleased with the solution to being pleased with his efforts


Communicates essential points in an informal and conversational manner; prefers to share information in a one-on-one or small group situation; varies style and language to ensure listener understanding and is attentive to closing the loop on communications; seeks feedback and responds appropriately to listener reactions; makes presentations that are unrehearsed and adapted to individual situations


  • Sensitive to the customer's circumstances and response, adjusting the communication of information or ideas to accommodate their need to know or level of understanding
  • Encourages questions, comments, feedback from the customer
  • Backs an informal presentation with professional sales tools and company guarantees
  • Gives specific details of how/who/when, promising that the complexity of delivery and servicing of the product line will be shouldered by the salesperson
  • Keeps the focus on content and substance, not flash and performance
  • Creates a presentation that is informal, low-key, and unrehearsed
  • Talks with the customer, creating a team feeling of working together, versus directing a speech at the customer
  • May attempt a one-size-fits-all communication style that does not account for different information needs
  • By sticking to a prepared script, he does not leave any room for customer feedback or reaction and cannot adjust his presentation in response to that input
  • Unwilling to risk personal rejection or judgment, he may create an image or persona rather than be himself
  • Keeps the audience at arm's length, making his presentation seem less personal to the customer


Consistently meets or exceeds sales targets through personally controlling the critical aspects of the sales and delivery processes; systematically works each account plan and anticipates problems in order to work around them; is driven to win customers’ attention and treats their business as an honor, never letting them feel taken for granted


  • Meets or surpasses his sales goals as a means to gain more freedom and independence
  • Maintains personal control over those aspects of the sales and delivery process identified as top priorities
  • Sets high expectations for himself and holds associates to the same stringent standards of dedication
  • Expects to encounter barriers a fair percentage of the time and prepares to deal with setbacks or delays in order to ensure the success of his plans
  • Concentrates full energy and attention on systematically accomplishing key tasks
  • Places his customers on a pedestal and shows them how valued they are
  • May adopt a casual or relaxed approach that fails to project personal commitment or dedication
  • Is comfortable with achieving average results, rising above the bottom of the performance chart but not striving to be the best
  • Adopts a more interdependent and team-oriented approach to accomplishing goals
  • May depend too much on fate or ‘being in the right place at the right time’ rather than plan and work to make things happen
  • Expects his account management plan to proceed without the need for careful monitoring and contingencies
  • Can take customer relationships for granted and may not work at continually demonstrating his appreciation for the business


Networks throughout an existing customer’s organization to identify opportunities for expanding product or service purchases; uses established contacts as a referral base to identify new areas for expanded usage of currently sold products/services and new opportunities for expanded sales offerings; seeks to increase the volume of purchases by establishing relationships with multiple users


  • Expands his relationships to include other potential users in the organization by networking through satisfied contacts
  • Regularly audits customer relationships to uncover opportunities to build himself into the customer ‘family’ and solicit referral sales from his main contacts
  • Monitors changes in the customer’s focus or specifications that would alter the existing business contract
  • Watches for new trends in the industry that could impact customer needs or service capabilities
  • Establishes a plan to deal with the customer’s ordering patterns
  • Is uncomfortable expanding the contact base within the customer’s organization beyond his initial contact
  • Expects his initial or primary customer contact(s) to be the funnel of any additional opportunities within the organization and conducts all business with that contact
  • Takes repeat business for granted and depends upon the customer to initiate additional or altered needs for products or services
  • Focuses on servicing immediate needs at the expense of recognizing and addressing additional or future needs that could be met
  • Inconsistently tracks or reviews consumption, allowing a deterioration of sales cues generated by inventory management

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