Successful Sales Reps are APTT to Succeed (Part I)

Last week, Numo, Fire Enterprises (FEI) Accounting Tribe Leader, showed the FEI tribe how their business can grow by diversifying into new services in response to changing demand. This week, Sales Tribe Leader Zoot teaches his apprentice Helios four key attributes that every great salesperson should possess. Remember, fire = print.

One morning Helios, a novice FEI sales rep, entered Zoot’s office. “Do you have a moment, Zoot? I was hoping you could answer a question for me.”

“Of course!” Zoot was busy, but he always took advantage of opportunities to educate the less experienced reps.

“I really really want to succeed in sales. I’ve heard the best sales reps tend to have certain traits in common. What are these traits, and how can I develop them?”

Zoot nodded. “Great question. Early in my own sales career, I developed an easy-to-remember list of four key attributes that every great salesperson must possess. It’s served me well for decades now.”

Zoot scribbled on his office whiteboard: APTT.

“Attitude, Plan, Think and Tact,” Zoot said. “If you master just these four attributes, you’re ‘APTT’ to win more business and lock in customers for the long haul.”

“Tell me more,” Helios said, clearly intrigued.

“Today let’s cover Attitude,” Zoot said. “If you don’t think you can, or you don’t want to, you won’t. Attitude is the foundation upon which every successful sales career is built. A good attitude means taking advantage of every opportunity to get in front of clients and prospects—and knowing exactly what to do when you do. It’s making that last call at 4:45 instead of skipping out early, or taking a later chariot ride back home to give yourself time to make a few important calls.

“On the other hand,” Zoot continued, “A negative attitude can poison your sales performance, your relationships with clients and eventually—since negative emotions tend to spread like pestilence—your entire organization.

“Here’s an example. Years ago, I had a good prospect—Chevy, President of Chevy’s Chariots—who always seemed just a little too busy to meet. I called to set up a lunch appointment, but he decli

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
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