Success Differentiator- Attitude!
22 November 2016

Success Differentiator- Attitude!

 Although we are not recruiters, we are frequently asked to help find and define successful sales professionals for our customers and business associates.

There are numerous tools, assessments, agencies, and gurus that purport to have the inside track on increasing the probability of finding and hiring the best people.

I could get into a lengthy dissertation on the efficacy and usefulness of these resources. They all are more or less costly and suffice it to say they all have their place and can contribute to improving your search and selection process.

After 40 years of assessing sales professionals and sales organizations, I believe you can advance your success of selecting the right person for the right reasons by exploring attitude differentiators in those you hire.

First, a brief story about the late Tim Larkin; a great friend, mentor and co- founder of NABC. Tim was an eternally optimistic and consummate business professional with a long career at Proctor & Gamble, owning his own consulting and learning education business. He was a progressive thinker on optimizing human potential.

One day many years ago I visited him at his office and I noticed a small bottle containing a green liquid on his desk. I asked Tim what the strange concoction was and he said “enthusiasm”!

Over the ensuing years I have found the over- riding key differentiators for successful sales professionals, much less successful people of all walks of life, have the following traits:

  • Enthusiasm for life and their profession
  • A passion to succeed
  • High energy
  • A work ethic highlighted by effort and doing what’s necessary
  • Positive attitude

These five differentiators unfortunately can’t be taught or coached. They either come with the person or they don’t. They are the result of early developmental and experiential events and circumstances that mold us all.

They are relatively obvious as we engage and interact with people; however, they are often set aside as we dive deep and wide trying to discover the skills, education, and experience a prospective candidate has for a given position.

I’m not negating the importance of skills, education, and experience.  I am suggesting they be put in the context with the total person’s attitude.

Attitude is what gets you up in the morning. It is what allows you to deal with the inherent frustrations and disappointments of business. It is the stuff that underscores the aptitude and resiliency of dealing with difficult people. It is that winning persona that is highly infectious. It is the fuel that fills the tank of optimism of future success.

It is the differentiator hiding ever so subtly in the written resume.

If you need help selecting the right sales people for the right reasons, NABC has a process to uncover and explore the five differentiators. Give us a call at 480-229-7800 or email Dave Neal at

It’s really the success differentiator! 

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