Sales and Sales Management Blog

March 14, 2012

Act the Part to Become the Part

Filed under: attitude,career development,success — Paul McCord @ 4:13 pm
Tags: , ,

I often hear complaints from both new and experienced sellers that they don’t know how to become successful. 

The key questions is always, “what do I need to do to become successful?”

When I ask, most say that they have some very successful sellers in their company, while others indicate that although they may not have any high production sellers in their office, they still know at least one highly successful seller that they are in regular contact with regularly.

My answer  to them is simple:”Act the part to become the part;” that is, do the things successful salespeople do and act the way successful salespeople act and you’ll stand a very good chance of becoming successful also.

Seldom do I run into a seller that is satisfied with that answer.  Rather than getting a simple “OK,” I get a ton of reasons why that is a stupid answer. 

As soon as I make that statement I know what I’ll hear:

“How am I supposed to act like that when I’m new and just started?”

“I can’t act like that because I don’t know what I’m doing.”

“That’s crazy.  I can’t act like I’m successful when I’m just barely getting along.”

“If I act like I’m successful I wouldn’t be being genuine.”

Now, of course, these reactions aren’t always stated exactly as those above, but the bottom-line is always the same—they can’t do the things successful salespeople do because they aren’t currently successful.

Well, if they’re not doing the things successful salespeople are doing, then they must be doing the things unsuccessful sales people are doing. 

And they wonder why they’re not successful?

If you really want to become successful as a seller, find a successful seller that you admire and respect and begin closely observing what they do and how they act.  More than likely you’ll notice a few thing such as confidence, a thorough knowledge of their products and services, a commitment to gain all the sales and product training and coaching they can possibly get, a willingness to admit when they don’t know something along with a promise to find out, and a desire to help their prospects and clients solve issues and meet needs.

You’ll also more than likely not find a few other things, such as being self-centered, a fear of rejection, a single minded focus on money, or a know-it-all attitude.  Unfortunately, much of the time these negatives are easily found in those very sellers wanting to know how to become successful.

It really isn’t that hard to figure out that if you do what the successful sellers are doing you’ll probably have a great chance at being successful. 

If, however, you’re doing what the unsuccessful sellers are doing, you’ll have an even better chance of continuing to be unsuccessful

If you’re not reaching the level of success you want, you can continue doing the things you’re doing that aren’t getting you where you want to be, or you can simply act the part to become the part, that is, act like a successful seller and you’ll become a successful seller.

So, rather than continuing as you are, find someone you respect, observe them carefully and then do the things they do and act the way they act.  Over time you’ll find that it’s a whole lot more fun acting—and becoming—successful than it is watching the successful sellers leave you behind.

Connect with me on Twitter:  @paul_mccord



  1. Well said. The learning curve may be long, but an individual commitment to keep getting better is the only way to survive in an information-based economy. Anyone who is not intentionally learning new things every day is dying on the vine.

    Comment by mhdweb — March 14, 2012 @ 6:33 pm | Reply

  2. My father has always instilled in me that “You are who you associate with”, which has always proven to be true for me and this is just another instance where it would apply.

    Comment by Jenni Boucher — March 16, 2012 @ 12:23 pm | Reply

  3. Article well on point. Finding a successful role model is very important for starters and it shortens the learning curve

    Comment by ademola — March 25, 2012 @ 3:00 pm | Reply

  4. So true Paul. Buy them em a cup of coffee, do their dishes, pick up their dry cleaning if you have to. Seek out the successful people and incorporate what works for them into your style.

    Comment by Paul Brice — April 2, 2012 @ 9:37 pm | Reply

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