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What was striking was the one attribute that was acknowledged by every source across the board was empathy. Merriam-Webster defines empathy as: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner. Empathy is sincerely understanding another's situation. Not walking a mile in someone else's shoes, but acknowledging and being sensitive to their experiences. Sincerity sells, boys and girls. However, don't confuse empathy with sympathy. Sympathy is pity. Sympathy sounds nice, but it doesn't necessarily look for a way to better the person's situation. Most often empathy assists, whereas sympathy enables.


Personality traits aside, the one attribute that is paramount in any employee is integrity. You want people working for and with you that you do not need to worry about what they said to close a deal. If you have been in sales for any length of time you have worked with the person who closes deals by any means necessary. These people are "high volume/gross" with low customer satisfaction and high "heat". They will always find work because they are producers. They leave their employers and co-workers at incredible risk and most times are not available when its time to face the music and clean up the messes they've created. Here's a big red flag: When a Top producer" gets fire from a dealership. Don't just accept their version of why they were terminated. I love when people say things like, :They didn't want me holding so much gross on customers, but that's all I know how to do." Does this sound rational to anyone? Anyone!? There's a saying that goes, "Hire slow, fire fast." Perform your due diligence, find out what really happened. Most likely it was not the fact that they held such high gross, but rather how they achieved it. A former boss of mine used to say, "there parents and teacher should have thought them ethics. We can teach them to sell. We can't make them good people". Try resisting the urge of the quick fix. Hire some people with moral compass that can be trained to sell. It's much easier than trying to infuse ethics into "he of other forked tongue:



 We'll list the raw materials desired in our top sellers. Remember you probably won't find many individuals with all of these attributes but more of them that a person has, the simpler your job becomes.

  • Integrity
  • Positive attitude
  • Tenacity
  • Dependability
  • Empathetic
  • Mentally alert
  • Social
  • Competitive
  • Respectful
  • Courageous
  • Intellect

 This is a good start for the basics. There are a few blank spots for you to add to your desire traits. Now let's check to see whether we are Tellers or Seller with a comparison from Terry Levine's The Top Ten Ways to Know You are a Teller of a Seller.



  • Give information
  • Present features
  • Avoid rejection
  • Try to win by showing knowledge
  • Use rational level
  • Reactive
  • Want comfort, structure and stability
  • Identify needs
  • Talk to whomever comes to you
  • Shy away from conflict



  • Solve problem
  • Translate features into benefits
  • Risk Rejection
  • Win by closing sales
  • Use emotional and rational levels
  • Proactive
  • Accept uncertainty/think "outside the box"
  • Intensify needs and wants
  • Goes to the opportunity


Check yourself, check your staff. according to Greenberg & Greenberg study 55% of all people employed in sales have no ability to sell.


*  Sardar and Patton, 2002

*  Basis International, 2000

*  Gitomer, 2000

*  Greenberg and Greenberg, 1983


Written by: Brad Alexander

 "If you need committed,trained salespeople with no bad habits,call me at 800-878-5090 ext 5 or cell 609-517-1152 and I will personally assist you!


Craig Lockerd
AutoMax Recruiting & Training


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