After 35 years of training over 10,000 sales managers, 90,000 sales people, I know the most predictive element of success in sales. Drive. Unfortunately, drive is not trainable. You can teach and coach selling skills and make a difference. However, you can’t train drive. People have it or they don’t.  You can have a good career in sales without drive but you will never be great. There are three components to drive that all top performers have.

  1. They are high achievers – Top performers are motivated by a desire to achieve outstanding results and will do what it takes to succeed. They are disciplined, motivated and never content. They are constantly setting the bar higher for themselves. They realize the largest room in the world is the room for improvement and they are constantly growing, learning and improving to hit their goals. If they were athletes their practices would be harder than their games.
  2. They are competitive – Elite salespeople are like Olympics athletes that are runners- they are always eyeing their peers and comparing what they are doing. They are out to win plain and simple. Even when doing a training run with their teammates they are looking to the left and the right to see how they are doing and want to win.
  3. Positive attitude – The right mindset is the driven salespersons ultimate weapon. It provides the body armor they need to withstand the rejection they face in sales. To driven salespeople rejection means nothing. They credit themselves for success but don’t take rejection personally. Because they visualize success and expect to win, they create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So how do you know if someone has drive? There is a big difference between what people “can do” and what they “will do. What they “will do” is already evidenced by what they have done. The single best indicator of future performance is past performance look for a success profile in their history. Anyone who has accomplished great things probably had to overcome obstacles and challenges along the way that required drive to get through.