Customer Experience News & Trends

Defect list: 23 characteristics of sales losers

Not everyone is cut out for sales work. It’s a demanding profession that requires a lot of self-motivation and perseverance. Some have those qualities. Others don’t. And when salespeople don’t have what it takes, their inability to do the job manifests itself in several ways.

Here are the main characteristics of sales losers.


  • Make fewer calls
  • Spend more time in the office
  • Lose customers to price-cutters
  • Produce few new customers, if any
  • Aren’t interested in serving customers
  • Feel “selling isn’t what it used to be”
  • Seem out of the customer loop
  • Ignore opportunities to learn
  • Appear cynical or disgruntled
  • Talk more about past achievements
  • Believe seniority warrants special privileges
  • Feel unappreciated by management
  • Are advancing slower within the company
  • Have become less aggressive
  • Fail to respond to changing customer needs
  • Accept when accounts leave, claiming, “It’s no one’s fault”
  • Become somewhat complacent
  • Focus on “favorite” customers only
  • Let “paid my dues” feelings set in
  • Contact customers less frequently
  • Call primarily on large prospects
  • Show less interest in new accounts, other than “big ones,” and
  • Spend fewer hours on the job.

Characteristics of sales winners

Enough with the negative.

Here are the signs you’ve got a sales winner on your hands.


  • Reinvigorate themselves by finding quality leads when things slow down
  • Go after challenging accounts that require extensive knowledge, in-depth analysis and sensitive handling
  • Plan for the long-term by identifying and carefully cultivating prospects continually
  • Are able to talk about how their products or services are innovative and remain on the cutting edge, far ahead of the competition, and
  • Welcome suggestions and criticism from customers and their own managers.

Adapted from “The Best Damn Sales Book Ever,” by Warren Gresher, a sales trainer.

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